Indigent Senior Citizens To Receive Pension Worth 6 Months in Advance
By: Saliha Naila A. Abdullah
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the leading agency in social protection and is mandated to ensure a better quality of life of every Filipino citizen. Since the Philippines is under a State of Public Health Emergency, the DSWD issued Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 2020 which lay down special guidelines on provision of Social Amelioration, the continuation of the Implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, and Supplementary Feeding Programs.
Under the said Memorandum, the payout pertinent to the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SocPen) Program shall be continued to ensure that the objectives of the said program shall be attained during the Covid-19 crisis, when it is most needed by its beneficiaries.
The provision of a monthly stipend in the form of outright cash in the amount of Five Hundred Pesos (Php 500.00) is provided to senior citizens eligible under the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program (SocPen). The pension aims to assist Senior Citizens in providing for their basic needs, such as food and medicines, among others. The stipend is computed per semester consistent with DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 2019. The list of beneficiaries are those registered and listed under the Social Pension Information System (SPIS) of the DSWD.
Once listed in the SPIS, the beneficiary shall only present his/her Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) Identification Card to the LGU to claim the stipend. Concerns relating to qualification, acceptance, or replacement of beneficiaries shall be governed by the processes as stated in the said guidelines.
The beneficiaries shall be strictly limited to the list in the SPIS of the DSWD. Senior citizens not included in the SPIS shall be immediately validated and subjected to eligibility testing. The process of qualification or replacement shall be consistent with the guidelines under DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 04, Series of 2019. Only after said senior citizen is listed as beneficiary in the SPIS shall he/she receive the stipend.
Recently, Senior Citizens Party-list Representative Francisco Datol Jr. has informed the public that he requested for the advance pension payment from President Rodrigo Duterte last March. Likewise, DSWD confirmed that the said request was approved and that the funds were already downloaded to LandBank.
Instead of receiving a monthly stipend of Php 500, qualified indigent senior citizens will be receiving six months’ worth of their pension or the amount of Three Thousand Pesos (Php 3,000.00) in advance to help them sustain their basic needs amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
This initiative by the government intends to ensure that Filipino Senior citizens will be able to continuously cope during the present crisis brought by the threat of COVID-19.
Presently, DSWD has not yet issued guidelines on the issuance of a six months’ worth of Senior Citizens’ pension. Please stay tuned for new issuances and releases from the national government. We will accordingly provide updates as new announcements from the national government are given from time to time. Stay safe!