There were 16, 510 indigent senior citizens who received Php 1,500.00 each as stipend for the months of January – March this year. This is through the DSWD’s Social Pension Program which released a total amount of Php 24.7 million for the first quarter alone.
This was disclosed by DSWD Regional Director Marcelo Nicomedes J. Castillo as the Agency pushed for the release of these assistance to indigent senior citizens before the Election Ban on March 29, 2013.
The release of stipend was done for a month only despite the region’s geographical challenges such as mountainous terrain and far flung municipalities along with its few program implementers.
DSWD has maximized its manpower deployed at the provincial offices and the support staff from the Local Government Units greatly helped in the speedy release of stipend, Director Castillo further mentioned.
To promote convenience among the ailing senior citizens, some 687 social pensioners will receive their stipend through Philippine Postal Corporation otherwise known as ‘PhilPhost’. This will be done by the end of the second quarter to 5% of total beneficiaries.
With this, the PhilPost couriers will deliver the stipend right at the door steps of the indigent senior citizens in Malasiqui, Bayambang, and Umingan in Pangasinan that are pilot municipalities.
The Social Pension Program is further promoting the rights and benefits of indigent senior citizens as stipulated in Republic Act No. 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2009. Indigent senior citizens are those at least 77 years old, not receiving any regular pension from private and/or government institutions, and considered as poor by the NHTS-PR and OSCA-validated senior citizens. This is also DSWD’s contribution in the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) particularly on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger around the globe by 2015. (by: Iryn D. Cubangbang, Regional Information Officer)