The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is targeting to provide 2.8 million indigent senior citizens this year with a monthly stipend under its Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC). The number is more than double the total target beneficiaries of the program in 2016, which is more than 1.3 million.
The approved budget allocation for the program’s implementation this year amounts to P17,940,258,000, higher than the P8,711,203,000 allocated last year.
The SPISC is the government’s assistance, in the amount of P500 for poor seniors to augment their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.
Started in 2011 through Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the program aims to improve the living condition of eligible indigent senior citizens and to protect them from neglect and deprivation.
The target beneficiaries are seniors aging 60 years old and above who are frail, sickly or with disability; with no regular income or support from family and relatives, and without pension from private or government institutions.
The DSWD implements the program through its 17 Field Offices in partnership with the Local Government Units (LGUs) and with the help from the City/ Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (C/MSWDO) and Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).
As of January 31, a total of 1,331,747 senior citizens or 96.79 percent of the target 1,375,970 beneficiaries for 2016 were able to receive their social pension. The conduct of payout is still ongoing for the remaining 44,223 beneficiaries.
Out of the total P8.7 billion allocation for the program last year, P8.5 billion or 98.21 percent was already utilized for the program’s implementation.
According to DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, the DSWD is committed to protecting and helping the most vulnerable sectors of the society, which include the elderly.
“The DSWD has programs and services to help improve the lives of the poor, disadvantaged, and vulnerable. One of these is the social pension program, which is a great help to poor seniors who do not get support from their family,” she said.
“We are glad to be able to serve more indigent seniors this year, as the program continues to widen,” she added.
Senior citizens qualified within the eligibility criteria may apply for the social pension program at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs, City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office, or the DSWD Regional Office.
The applicant or his/her representative should bring his/her OSCA ID and Birth Certificate or any document that could prove his/her date of birth.###