Over P5 billion in cash stipends has been released by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to more than 1 million senior citizens from January to June this year.
The DSWD has allotted a total of P8,711,203,000 for the more than 1.3 million needy older persons.
As of June, the department had released a total of P5,034,219,741.43 cash stipends to 1,368,941 indigent senior citizens nationwide.
The cash stipends are under the Social Pension Program (SPP) of the DSWD in accordance with Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said the SPP provides that indigent senior citizens aged 60 years old and above should receive P500 in cash assistance a month.
According to Taguiwalo, the senior citizens under the SPP receive their pension every 1st month of every quarter (January, April, July and October) through three modes of release–payouts by DSWD, fund transfer to local government units and door-to-door delivery in partnership with the Philippine Postal Corporation and the Philippine Veterans Bank, as initial service providers.
Those who will qualify for the program are senior citizens who are frail, sickly or have disabilities and who do not receive pension from the Social Security System (SSS) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) or veterans pension and who do not have a permanent source of income or regular support from relatives.
Taguiwalo explained, “Ang mga nakatatanda sa ating panahon ang isa sa mga pinaka-bulnerableng sektor sa lipunan. Dumadami ang bilang ng napababayaan at nangangailangang magsikap mag-isa upang mabuhay kahit na ang ilan sa kanila ay nasa dapithapon na ng kanilang buhay [The sector of senior citizens is one of the most vulnerable sectors in society. The number of the elderly being neglected and left to survive on their own in their old age continues to increase].”
“Hinihikayat ko po ang ating mga senior citizens at ang kanilang mga anak na nag-a-assist sa kanila na dumulog sa aming tanggapan at ilapit ang kanilang mga pangangailangan. Tulungan niyo po kami na kayo ay maabot [I urge our senior citizens and their children who assist them to approach our various offices nationwide for any assistance that they need. Help us reach you],” she said.
NELSON S. BADILLA