February 6, 2012

PHILIPPINES: 6,328 elderly of Baguio aged 77 and more to get social pension

BAGUIO / Sun Star / February 6, 2012

By JM Agreda

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently announced its plans to expand the Social Pension, which aims to provide monthly pension to senior citizens aged 77 years old and above.

From last year's 3,566 social pensioners, the regional office announced plans to add some 2,762 senior citizens in the region, making the total number of elderly beneficiaries to 6,328.

Leonardo Reynoso, DSWD-Cordillera Administrative Region director, said the 77 percent increase in the region is part of the nationwide program expansion targeting around 1,297,159 million poor elderly Filipinos nationwide who are qualified for social pension based on National Household Targeting System data.

This brings the annual budget allotted for the Social Pension program to P37.9 million in the Cordillera.

As stipulated in the Expanded Senior Citizen's Act of 2010, the Social Pension program for indigent senior citizens grants a qualified beneficiary of a P500 monthly stipend to augment daily subsistence and medical needs.

The department currently distributes this monthly stipend quarterly to pensioners.

Reynoso said only indigent senior citizens are covered by the social pension program, excluding pensioners of insurance providers such as the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, and other insurance services.

The DSWD is set to release P9.4 million this February as first quarter stipend of the pensioners. The amount, according to Reynoso, has already been released to the DSWD by the Department of Budget Management.

The regional program management committee is currently facilitating the preparation of payrolls for all pensioners who are set to receive their cash stipends for the first quarter by February.

Last year, the program was able to release over P21.3 million in grants for its beneficiaries.

The Social Pension Program is implemented in partnership with local government units, municipal and city social welfare offices and Offices of Senior Citizens Affairs.

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