Lanao senior citizens get social pension hike

Lanao senior citizens get social pension hike

THE Ministry of Social Services and Development in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MSSD-Barmm), started on Monday, June 17, the distribution of an increased social pension (SocPen) to 64,939 indigent senior citizens in Lanao del Sur.

Amerah Amer, MSSD-Lanao del Sur’s project development officer for SocPen program, said Wednesday, June 19, the increase in their pensions amounting to P6,000 each as their semestral cash assistance is legally bound by Republic Act 11916, otherwise known as the SocPen for Indigent Seniors Act.

Amer said the monthly pension of the indigent senior citizens needed to be increased due to the rising prices of essential goods such as food and medicine.

Each of the recipients will receive a P1,000 monthly pension or a total of P6,000 in one semester or six months. The previous monthly pension is P500 or P3,000 each semester.

“We increased (the social pension) from P500 to P1,000 a month because we see that our senior citizens are struggling due to the rising prices of food like rice and their medicine,” Amer said in a statement.

Adbdulazis Batara, Tamparan, Lanao del Sur, Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) chairperson, expressed his gratitude, stating that this is a significant help for poor senior citizens, especially those with medical conditions.

“The indigent senior citizens of the Municipality of Tamparan are very grateful to our government for increasing the social pension we receive. This is a huge help to us because we will no longer struggle as much to buy our maintenance medicine,” Batara said in a statement.

The SocPen is a nationally-funded government assistance program implemented in the region by MSSD. Its primary aim is to improve the living conditions of its senior citizen beneficiaries.

The target beneficiaries of the program are those who are at least 60 years old, frail and sickly or with a disability, without a permanent source of income, not receiving any pension from government or non-government institutions, and those with no regular support from family or relatives. (SunStar Zamboanga)

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