A total of 113,176 indigent senior beneficiaries have already been provided with social pension as of September this year by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in Caraga (DSWD-13).
Over PHP266 million has also been released to the same senior citizens within the period, DSWD-13 said, adding that the grant for poor senior citizens is mandated by Republic Act 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”.
Seniors citizens qualified to receive a social pension under RA 9994 are those frail, sickly, or with a disability, and are not receiving any pension from other government agencies without a permanent source of income or livelihood.
The cash assistance is meant to be used for the elderly’s basic needs, including food and medicines, and released by the DSWD through the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SocPen) program.
DSWD-13 Information Officer Marko Davey D. Reyes told the Philippine News Agency Tuesday (Oct. 6) that the agency continues to conduct payouts to the identified senior citizen beneficiaries in the region even during the pandemic.
“With the health protocols that we need to follow for protection, some schedules of our payouts are also affected,” Reyes said.
Regular verification of beneficiaries is also being conducted by their office with the support of the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in every municipality and city in the region, he added.
“Regular verification is important to update the list of our beneficiaries for the SocPen program,” Reyes said, adding that the yearly fund allocation for Caraga Region is intended to some 170,000 beneficiaries.
Data provided by DSWD-13 showed that a total of PHP63.3 million SocPen aid was already released to the beneficiaries in Agusan del Norte during the period, PHP119.6 million in Agusan del Sur, PHP40.8 million in Surigao del Norte, and PHP42.2 million in Surigao del Sur. (Alexander Lopez, PNA)