SOME 859 indigent senior citizens in Angeles City received on Thursday, February 8, their P1.4-million social pension from the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO).

The elderly who are not receiving any social pension from the government received P1,500 each from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), said Social Welfare Officer Joy Duaso.

The P1.4-million budget allocation which was turned over to Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan during the full council meeting of the Regional Development Council–Central Luzon covers the senior citizens’ pension for the fourth quarter of 2017.

As specified in Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) is an additional government assistance aiming to improve the condition of indigent senior citizens by augmenting their daily subsistence and medical needs, and reduce incidence of hunger, as well as protect them from neglect, abuse, deprivation and natural and man-made disasters.

Pursuant to the eligibility criteria as may be determined by the DSWD, indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

Natividad Llaneta, 80, who has been residing alone in a resettlement site in Barangay Sapalibutad, said she is currently reliant to the assistance extended by her neighbors.

She said the social pension is a great help to suffice her everyday needs.

“Gagamitin ko po ito sa aking araw-araw na pangangailangan dahil ako nalang ang mag-isa sa bahay. Lahat ng pangangailangan ko sa bahay, iyan [social pension] ang inaasahan ko,” Llaneta said.

To determine the beneficiaries, the CSWD chief said the agency is “in constant coordination with all the 33 villages of the city, as well as the city’s frontline offices, the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca).”

“Our village councils and the Osca provides us their master list of all senior citizens in their respective area of jurisdiction. The CSWDO will then screen them accordingly to determine if they are qualified to receive the social pension or not,” Duaso said.

Elena Santos, 70, also from Barangay Sapalibutad, said she has been receiving the regular social pension for three years now. She added that their barangay council motivated her to avail herself of the said social annuity distributed by the DSWD.

“Masuwerte po kami dahil nabibigyan po kami ng gobyerno ng pang-gastos sa araw-araw lalo na at matatanda na kami at hindi na namin kaya ang maghanap-buhay pa,” Santos said.

In 2017, the DSWD allocated P17.9 billion for the program to benefit more than 2.8 million senior citizens throughout the country.