The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD, as one its major services, is implementing the Social Pension Program to support poor senior citizens in every locality.
In accordance with Republic Act No. 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the program provides P500 monthly cash assistance to indigent senior citizens who are 60 years old and above to augment their daily subsistence and other needs.
The DSWD, through its partners at the Local Government Units (LGUs), prioritized senior citizens considered to be frail, sickly, without pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS) and other insurance companies as well as those without any permanent source of income or even assistance from their relatives or family members.
To address a growing number of older people seeking inclusion in the program, a significant increase of the beneficiaries of Eastern Visayas region is expected for next year’s implementation of the Social Pension Program in the region.
With this development, the DSWD is urging Local Government Units (LGUs) in the region to update their master list of beneficiaries including the indigent senior citizens and at the same time settle their liquidation for those who have not submitted yet before the year ends.
Director Restituto Macuto said that the elderly covered by the social pension will be doubled as it has already been submitted for the inclusion in the general appropriations of the national government for the year 2017.
“We have been receiving a relatively huge number of senior citizens from every municipality who wanted to be included in the monthly pension, however, inasmuch as we would like to accommodate them all, we can only provide to a certain number of beneficiaries that corresponds on the approved budget by the national government,” Macuto pointed out.
According to the records obtained from the DSWD-8 Social Pension Unit, for the current year Eastern Visayas has a total number beneficiaries to some 87,920 with the amount allocation of P527 million.
Meanwhile, in the latest assessment made, the DSWD reported that four in every 10 residents of Eastern Visayas live in poverty which indicates that most of them are in the rural areas. The result contains in the Listahanan Database of Poor Families in Eastern Visayas.
The Listahanan, otherwise known as National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR), is an information management and targeting system used as tool to identify who and where the poor are and in determining the beneficiaries such as the Social Pension and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program of the DSWD.