THE Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is planning to give more indigent seniors monthly stipends after the program budget was doubled this year.
In a statement, the DSWD said this year’s budget allocation totaled P17.9 billion, significantly higher than last year’s P8.7 billion.
As a result, the target beneficiaries for this year, 2.8 million, is more than double the beneficiaries in 2016, which hit more than 1.3 million, the DSWD said.
DSWD’s social pension program grants P500 to poor senior citizens to augment their daily subsistence, which includes their medical needs.
The program will be implemented through DSWD’s 17 field offices in partnership with local government units, city or municipal social welfare department and development offices and the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs.
The target beneficiaries of the program are persons aged 60 years old and above who are frail, sick or with disability, and without regular incomes or support from their family and relatives or without pension from private or government-owned institutions.
As of January 31, 1.3 million senior citizens or 96.79 percent of the target beneficiaries last year were able to receive their social pensions. Payouts are still ongoing for the remaining 44,223 beneficiaries.
Out of the allocated budget amounting to P8.7 billion for the program in 2016, P8.5 billion or 98.21 percent has been released.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the social pension program “is a great help to poor seniors who do not get support from their family.”