Davao City -Some 1878 senior citizens from different districts here finally received their social pension following a special validation conducted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

It was during the first quarter this year that payout for social pension was put on-hold to make way for the special validation, and cross matching process for senior citizens who are not in the DSWD Listahanan data, Director Priscilla N. Razon of DSWD explained.

Listahanan is an information management system that the government uses in identifying who and where the poor are. It aims to reduce poverty through a scientific and target-focused strategy.

Identification of social pensioners was based on the Listahanan database and the listing submitted by the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Offices (C/MSWDOs).

82 years old Leonardo A. Busio of Bry. Tibungco said its worth waiting. “Naghulat man mi og dugay pero pasalamat gihapon nga nagpadayon gihapon akoang benepisyo kay dako gyud ni nga tabang kanamo ug sa akong asawa ug mga anak nga nag asa nalang sa tabang sa gobyerno (We waited for a long time but we are thankful that the benefit has continued as this a big help to our family who rely on government aid).”

Busio recently received Php 4,500 pension covering the last three quarters. He has 9 children.

The Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens is one of the provisions under Section 5 of Republic Act 9994 otherwise known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. The Social Pension is the additional government assistance in the amount of P500.00 monthly stipend to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of needy senior citizens.

To qualify to the Social Pension Program, a senior citizen must be 77 years old and above, frail, sickly and disabled, without a regular source of income and/or support from any member of the family, and not receiving other pension benefits from government and private agencies.

To date, 3887 pensioners will receive in Compostela Valley Province; 6,458 in Davao Del Sur; 4319 in Davao Del Norte; and 3709 in Davao Oriental.

Payout in the LGUs is set in November through the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO).

At the recent celebration of Elderly Filipino Week, Director Razon stressed that, “the older persons are our treasure, our wealth of knowledge, wealth of experience, strength and inspiration. They are a force and our partner in development. We need to take care, nurture and offer them the love they deserve.” DSWD