In its efforts to make life easier for indigent senior citizens, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has included 481,572 senior citizens in the payroll of the Social Pension Program in 2014, of which 319,425 senior citizens were provided the amount of P2.86 billion.
Likewise, a total of 55,568 social pensioners have been provided with stipend amounting to P83.16 million from January to March 2015. Payout for the 1st quarter to the remaining 884,041 beneficiaries is still ongoing.
The DSWD-Field Offices have conducted simultaneous payouts for the remaining beneficiaries in 2014 and first quarter 2015 beneficiaries through cash payout and fund transfer.
Social Pension provides P500 monthly cash grants to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens, as stated in Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.
The Department considers the following indigent senior citizens as its priority for inclusion in the program: frail, sickly, or with disability; without pension from Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Armed Forces & Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI), and other insurance companies; and, without any permanent source of income or regular support from his/her relatives.
It is implemented in all regions including the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
From 2011-2014, the Department prioritized senior citizens aged 77 years old and above. For this year, seniors 65 years old and above are covered by the program.
Based on testimonials of beneficiaries, they are happy and thankful for the program because they are able to utilize their stipend to meet their daily basic needs such as food and medicines. Others also claim that they use their stipend as additional capital for small livelihood business and for minor house repair.