Around 13,000 senior citizens in Central Visayas covering the provinces of Bohol, Cebu, Negros Oriental and Siquijor would receive a monthly stipend of P500 from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Social Pension Program.
The monthly pension augments the senior citizens’ access to social services especially that many of them are sharing resources with their younger family members, said Regional Director Ma. Evelyn Macapobre of the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas.
Under Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the cash assistance will form part of the benefits and privileges of an indigent older person as stipulated under Section 1 of Article 20.
This will also augment their daily subsistence as well as expenses for their medical needs.
Indigent senior citizens are those who are frail, sickly or with disabilities and without pension or permanent source of income. They only rely on support from their relatives.
Senior citizens who are receiving pension from the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Armed Forces of the Philippines Mutual Benefit Association Inc., private insurance companies and those with permanent support from relatives are not entitled to the monthly stipend.
Senior citizens who are not included in the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction conducted by the DSWD in 2009 may apply at the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their respective locality to avail of the monthly pension. They will be assessed by the social welfare officers as well as OSCA heads.
The distribution of cash assistance is now ongoing.
The program was launched last April 29 in Cordova town in Metro Cebu. It is implemented nationwide starting with the identification of the social pensioners, verification, notification, payment and monitoring.