THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)in the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) through the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens will expand its assistance to more senior citizens this year.
A total of 7,207 senior citizens will be added to the roster of social pensioners in the region.
“We are glad to have the additional slots we hope will cover all the indigent and eligible senior citizens in the region,” DSWD-CAR officer-in-charge regional director Janet Armas said.
The Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens is one of the social protection programs of the government which targets to assist poor, frail, and sickly senior citizens through the provision of monthly stipend amounting to P500. The stipend is released on a quarterly basis. Senior citizens, who do not receive other types of pension or assistance and do not have regular source of income or support from their relatives may be included in the program.
In 2016, the program targeted 70,109. For 2017, a total of 77,316 senior citizens are intended to receive the assistance. Of the additional slots, Abra will receive the highest number with 2,068, followed by Benguet with 1,370, Kalinga with 1,239, Apayao with 889, Ifugao with 858 and Mt. Province with 698.
On the other hand, a total of P48,712,500 have been distributed to 32, 475 social pensioners in the region as of March 31.
“We have already conducted the pay-out for the first quarter grant in some areas. While some pay-outs are still being conducted by our partner local government units,” Director Armas added.
Social pension pay-outs are conducted in three modalities. Cash pay-outs maybe done by DSWD personnel with the assistance of the local social welfare and development offices.
Municipalities that have opted to receive the assistance through fund transfer take the lead in distributing the stipend to the senior citizens through cash pay-out or door to door delivery. And service providers or conduits deliver the stipend on a door to door basis.
“We are continuously doing our best to deliver the stipend of our social pensioners. There might be some delays, but we ensure that all pensioners will receive their stipends,” Armas said.
Potential pensioners or their relatives are being encourage to coordinate with the Senior Citizens’ Associations and the local social welfare and development offices in their respective areas.
“We encourage our senior citizens or their relatives to visit their associations or our counterparts in their localities for them to be informed on the program. They may also visit our Social Welfare and Development offices in their provinces so that their queries and concerns about the program may be addressed,” Director Armas added.
The DSWD-Cordillera is open to queries, complaints, or comments related to the said program since this will help us in monitoring, evaluating and improving its implementation. These may be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. These may also be directed to DSWD-Cordillera’s Facebook account at www.facebook.com/dswdfocar. (PR)
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on April 21, 2017.
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