More indigent senior citizens are set to benefit from the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Social Pension Program this coming year.
DSWD-Cordillera Regional Director Leonardo Reynoso said DSWD plans to expand the government’s Social Pension Program to more indigent senior citizens nationwide and hopefully, to also bring in other elderly, whose age are lower than current 77 years old minimum age requirement.
Reynoso said they are targeting to bring the number of beneficiaries to 7,000 indigent senior citizens from the present 3,566 beneficiaries. This, however, depends on the 2012 budget appropriations that will be approved by Congress for the said program.
Based on DSWD central office statement, the DSWD has a proposed budget of P1.2 Billion for 2012 to benefit some 185,914 indigent senior citizens, or 46,954 more than this year’s 138,960 beneficiaries.
In the Cordillera, a total of P14,281,100 has already been disbursed to all the program beneficiaries in the region.
The social pension program has 1,005 indigent senior citizen beneficiaries in Abra; 440 in Apayao; 72 in Baguio; 563 in Benguet; 363 in Ifugao; 600 in Kalinga and 526 in Mt. Province.
The Social Pension Program, as provided for under Republic Act No. 9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act (ESCA) of 2010, provides a monthly assistance or subsidy of P500, given on a quarterly basis on the pre-identified beneficiaries who are indigent senior citizens who are frail, sickly and disabled, without any regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies.
At present, priority beneficiaries of the social pension are senior citizens aged 77 years old and above, who are included in the list poor households as identified by DSWD’s National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) - a database identifying who and where the poor are in the various parts of the country.(JDP/LD-PIA CAR)
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