Following reports on unliquidated social pension funds managed by the local government units (LGUs), the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Field Office VIII (DSWD-FO VIII) is fast-tracking the review of the Social Pension Program implementation in the provinces of Leyte and Samar in Eastern Visayas.
Last week, former councilor of Tabontabon, Nestor Abrematea dared DSWD-FO VIII to make public the LGUs that have unliquidated advances with the Department on social pension implementation.
Abrematea said that the unliquidated cash advances have caused the non-release of pensions of seniors particularly in his town.
According to the Field Office, the LGU of Tabontabon has an unliquidated cash advance amounting to P375,000. This is said to be the fund allocation for one quarter which was released last August 2015. Further, the said LGU has yet to claim two checks at the DSWD-FO for the fund allocation of the cash subsidy of beneficiaries for the first two quarters of the year.
As of today, however, Tabontabon has already submitted its liquidation of the said fund allocation.
The Field Office is also currently updating its records of liquidation to check on the status of the other LGUs’ social pension implementation. Based on latest record, however, the following LGUs have yet to comply with fund liquidation requirements: Hernani, Giporlas, and Lawaan of Eastern Samar; Capul of Northern Samar; Liloan and Silago of Southern Leyte; and, Sta. Rita of Samar.
DSWD Secretary Judy Taguiwalo has already instructed the Field Office to fast track the recording and reviewing of all liquidation reports so that accurate information can be immediately provided to the public.
“Ang mga nakatatanda ay isang sektor na pinakabulnerable. Marami sa kanila ang umaasa sa tulong na pinansiyal na naipagkakaloob sa kanila mula sa Social Pension. Maliit ang halagang P500 kada buwan para sa isang matandang wala ng maasahan, sakitin at wala ng ibang mahihingan ng tulong (The indigent senior citizens sector is considered as one of the most vulnerable. Many of the beneficiaries rely solely on the said financial assistance from the Social Pension. The amount of P500 a month in cash assistance is actually a meager amount for an elderly who has no relative to depend on, who is sickly, and who has no one to turn to for help),” Sec. Taguiwalo said.
The Secretary added, “Ang maantala ang pagbigay nito dahil lamang sa pagkukulang sa parte ng ahensiya o ng LGU ay hindi katanggap-tanggap (It is not acceptable that the elderly will not get their cash assistance just because DSWD or the LGUs have liquidation problems).”
Sec. Taguiwalo assured the public that the DSWD will provide an update on this issue. She asked the Field Office to exert its best efforts to require LGUs to liquidate their funds.