The Department of Social Welfare and Development – Cordillera Administrative Region (DSWD-CAR) is expecting the enactment of Republic Act 11916 or An Act Increasing the Social Pension of Indigent Senior Citizens passed on July 30, 2022, in 2023. RA 11916 is amending RA 7432 or “An Act to maximize the contribution of senior citizens to nation-building, grant benefits, and special privileges and for other purposes” and RA 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.”
Currently, PhP 500.00 monthly stipend is given on a quarterly basis and with the enactment of Republic Act 11916, the Social Pension stipend will be increased to PhP 1,000.00 monthly. This is seen to be implemented in the year 2023 upon the approval of the 2023 General Appropriations act (GAA) which provides the funds that will be used and will be managed and distributed by the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC).
Section 11 of RA no. 11350 also known as the “National Commission of Senior Citizens Act”, states that “all functions, programs, projects and activities which are being undertaken by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) for the formulation, implementation, and coordination of social welfare and development (SWD) policies and programs for the poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged senior citizens shall be transferred to the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC)”, in which the transition of the program has already started on the second semester of the year 2022. Various consultation meetings are being conducted by the DSWD and NCSC in preparation for the smooth transition of the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC), including the Centenarian’s Program which grants cash gifts amounting to one hundred thousand pesos (PHP 100,000.00) to Filipinos who reached 100 years old.
To date, the Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 11916 are still being crafted by NCSC in consultation with DSWD, DBM, and other concerned government agencies, as well as DSWD-accredited non-government organizations and peoples’ organizations of senior citizens.
The Regional DSWD Field Office is getting ready with all necessary documents and the existing system in managing 102,899 beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program and 80 centenarians for the year 2023 in preparation for the transfer of implementation of the said programs to NCSC.
With the establishment of the National Commission of Senior Citizens, DSWD is expecting that all senior citizens will register in their localities. This will help the commission, LGU, and National Government Agencies in creating more services for them and programs that will maximize their full potential even in their golden years.
“We are encouraging all eligible senior citizens to apply for the Social Pension Program and avail of the existing programs. All senior citizens, regardless of their membership in Barangay Senior Citizens Association, are encouraged to visit their Local Social Welfare and Development Office for them to be assessed if they are eligible for the program. In case they are not eligible, at least they will be guided by the social workers on the available programs and services of the government for them”, said DSWD Regional Director Leo L. Quintilla.
Per DSWD guidelines, senior citizens may become eligible for the Social Pension Program if they meet the following criteria:
- 60 years old and above who are frail and sickly;
- No pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI), or any other insurance company;
- No permanent source of income; and
- No regular support from family or relatives for his/her basic needs- this refers to the financial support provided by the family members or relatives to the senior citizens including family members working abroad, by blood or affinity, within the period of six (6) months.
For the Third quarter of 2022, the department has served a total of 97,554 senior citizens out of the 103,219 active beneficiaries. #DSWD FIELD OFFICE CAR, SOCIAL MARKETING UNIT, JEZEBEL L. GUMATAY