Indigent senior citizens who are beneficiaries of the Social Pension program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will now receive a Php1,000 monthly stipend starting February 2024, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez said on Monday (January 22).

“We expect that the distribution of the social pension for the first semester with its increased amount will commence this February 2024,” Asst. Secretary Lopez, who is also the DSWD spokesperson, pointed out.

Asst. Sec. Lopez said the funds for the realization of Republic Act 11916 or an Act Increasing the Social Pension of Indigent Senior Citizens were already included in the agency’s 2024 budget.

“The funds increasing the monthly stipend for social pensioners were already approved and included in the 2024 budget of the agency,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

Republic Act No. 11916, which lapsed into law in July 2022, provides for a 100 percent increase in the monthly pension of indigent senior citizens from Php500 to Php1,000 to further help indigent seniors cushion the impact of high inflation.

The monthly social pension for seniors is given to the qualified beneficiaries on a semestral basis with a total amount of Php6,000 per payout to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

“The social pension is provided to eligible and qualified indigent senior citizens to augment their daily subsistence and address their medical needs,” the DSWD spokesperson said.

The social pension program, according to Asst. Sec. Lopez, covers indigent senior citizens who are frail, sickly, or have a disability, or those who have no permanent source of income, and regular support from their family or relatives.

The DSWD official explained that senior citizens are considered eligible for the program if they are not receiving pensions from the Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI), or any other private insurance company.

Some 4,085,066 indigent senior citizens are covered by the social pension program for Year 2024 and are eligible for their monthly stipend.  #