THE Department of Social Welfare and Development Davao regional office (DSWD 11) is cleaning its list of benefiaries of the social pension (SocPen) program and removing those who have existing Social Security System (SSS) or Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) pension to allow other indigent senior citizens to avail of the benefits.
In an interview Tuesday, April 9, DSWD 11 Regional Director Meredith Jabagat said the quarterly payouts would have to be postponed until they have completed the validation process.
As of Tuesday, she said they were halfway done and they hoped to finish by June. Senior citizens will receive their pension per semester instead of quarterly, she added.
Jabagat said President Rodrigo Duterte has directed the department to validate its beneficiaries after reports were received that there are SocPen recipients who are not qualified.
She said they started cleaning the list last year and found out that there are those who are also pensioners of SSS and GSIS. The Social Pension Program provides assistance to indigent older persons based on the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 or Republic Act 9994.
Under the law, an elderly, 60 years old and above, is qualified to receive the P500 monthly pension if he or she is: frail, sickly or with disability; without any pension from other government agencies; and without a permanent source of income or source of financial assistance to support his or her basic daily subsistence expenses and basic medical needs.
“Since daghan naapil sa SSS and GSIS, gusto ni President na mag clean listing mi sa SocPen, mag revalidate kay naay uban tiguwang dili mag-sulti ug tarong. Dili daw sila SSS pensioners, pag pangayo namo ug record sa SSS, pensioner man diay (The President wants us to validate our pensioners because some have SSS and GSIS membership. Some are also not reporting truthfully to us, they would say that they are not pensioners but when we check with SSS, they are pensioners)," Jabagat said.
They have also received reports from concerned citizens about some SocPen beneficiaries who are not qualified to avail of the program. They validated these reports as soon as they received these.