LGUs tapped for faster distribution of seniors’ cash aid

DSWD
DSWDDSWD

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development in Central Visayas (DSWD 7) has tapped local government units (LGUs) to expedite the distribution of the increased monthly cash aid for nearly 300,000 senior citizens in Central Visayas through its Social Pension program.

The DSWD 7, in a statement, said it consulted with LGUs to determine the most suitable distribution scheme, as it aims to align the distribution process with the prevailing status, physical conditions and geographical location of the beneficiaries.

Based on Memorandum Circular 17, the transition of the stipend distribution considers three delivery schemes: (a) cash advances facilitated by special disbursing officers, (b) door-to-door delivery services for critically ill beneficiaries, and (c) the transfer of funds to LGUs.

The DSWD 7, however, said the transfer of funds to LGUs method stands out for its efficiency, enabling fast and convenient distribution while considering administrative limitations and workforce constraints within DSWD field offices.

The Social Pension program, designed to aid the elderly with maintenance medicine or subsistence, has undergone a substantial augmentation following the implementation of Republic Act 11916 in 2022.

The senior citizen’s stipend has been increased from P500 to P1,000, with the agency transitioning from quarterly to semestral payouts.

The adjustment aims to alleviate the impact of high inflation, particularly on essential commodities like rice.

The agency visited LGUs in Cebu Province on Feb. 23-24, 2024, with other consultation dialogues scheduled for Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor provinces.

The DSWD 7 said several LGUs have already opted for the fund transfer scheme.

In 2023, at least 80 LGUs adopted this approach, with an additional 42 LGUs joining in 2024.

Among the first towns to implement the distribution of increased stipends are Getafe town in Bohol, Tudela town in Cebu, and Bacong in Negros Oriental.

Leah Quintana, information officer of DSWD 7, told SunStar Cebu on Wednesday that the schedule of the semestral payouts, or twice-a-year distribution of P6,000 to the beneficiaries, varies per LGU.

She added that they do the fund transfer to LGUs annually.

SunStar earlier reported that at least 299,737 senior citizens located in Central Visayas are beneficiaries of the program.

Of the beneficiaries, 127,439 are from Cebu, 99,490 are from Bohol, 62,287 from Negros Oriental and 10,521 from Siquijor. (KJF)

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