Pension for senior citizens released

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE Social Welfare office in Northern Mindanao announced Tuesday the release of the first ever P1,500 pension for the first quarter in 2011.

Virginia Cardona, chief of the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) Social Pension Unit, said out of 9,354 qualified senior citizens to avail of the lifetime pension starting this year, around 4,300 beneficiaries would get the P1,500 quarterly pension for the first quarter this year.

For the second quarter, she said around 4,900 senior citizens are set to receive another P1,500 each.


Cardona clarified that those senior citizens who already completed their documents in January and were paid off in March would join the others who just completed their documents beyond March to receive the P1,500 second quarter pension this month.

"The beneficiaries can now get their pension anytime at the DSWD-Northern Mindanao office in Upper Carmen or during meetings of senior citizen organizations in their areas where they reside. DSWD representatives will personally hand over the cash pensions," Cardona said in a forum at the Philippine Information Agency on Tuesday.

In Cagayan de Oro, 34 senior citizens who already completed the necessary documents on pre-evaluation by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) and final evaluation by the DSWD-Northern Mindanao office will receive P3,000 each for both the first and second quarter pensions.

Cardona said beneficiaries from Cagayan de Oro are yet to receive the pension because of the delay of validating the list.

"Hopefully, the list for Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) will be finalized by August this year," she said.

Cardona said more than P14 million is allocated for the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) under the Aquino administration where 77 years old Filipinos and above are given preferential attention on welfare programs.

She said in Camiguin, at least 277 senior citizens are also ready for payout.

Cardona said the DWSD will go anywhere to deliver the amount personally in case the recipient is bed-ridden or incapable for travel.

"We will deliver it to hospitals or any secluded areas where the recipient is residing. Authorized person of recipient are required to bring identification of proof which will assessed by DSWD in order to receive money in behalf of the senior citizen," she said.

Cardona added that DSWD does not know whether the government would be adding more beneficiaries or cutting out the present number of senior citizens set to avail the program as it would be implemented lifetime under Republic Act (RA) 9994 or the Senior Citizens Act.

The program is in line with the fulfillment of the obligation of the government to protect the most vulnerable sector through social protection, and for the full implementation of the RA 9994.

The law provides that indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment the daily subsistence and his or her medical needs, subject for review by Congress every two years in consultation with the DSWD.

The said Act was approved last April 22, 2010 and was implemented in January 2011. It is a project by the National Government mainly for the sector of vulnerable senior citizen whose basic needs can't sustain, neglected by families and those who have no source of income. (With Michael Andrew Yu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on July 27, 2011.

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