Davao City (DSWD XI) – Some 136,067 indigent senior citizens in Davao Region were assisted in 2017 through the Social Pension Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Lywellyn T. Bibera, DSWD focal for Social Pension said the figure is higher compared with 2016 which registered only 85,532 social pensioners.

In 2017, DSWD disbursed a total of Php 816,402,000.00 million to qualified pensioners in the region’s six cities and 43 municipalities, Bibera said.

Bibera said Davao Del Norte posted the largest number of recipients with 27,312; Davao Oriental -26,407; Compostela Valley -26,265; Davao City -22,619; Davao Del Sur -20,889; and Davao Occidental with 12,575.

The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program or RA 9995 addresses the clamor for social protection to the most vulnerable older persons as well as backs the full implementation of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

The monthly stipend of P500 which took effect January 2011, augments the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

Potential recipients are senior citizens (60 years old and above) who are frail, sickly, or have disabilities; not receiving pension from Social Security System (SSS), Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), or Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO); and do not have a permanent source of income or regular support from family or relatives.

The list of potential social pensioners was based on the results of the DSWD Listahanan national assessment which was validated by the local government units (LGUs).

Qualified senior citizens who are not included in the DSWD Listahanan data but recommended by the LGU shall be assessed by the LGU social worker. Payment shall be based on the budget allocation per municipality.

Under the program, DSWD shall monitor and provide technical assistance to the LGUs through the City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (C/MSWDO) and conduct orientation, advocacy activities and meetings with the LGU Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), Federation of Senior Citizens Association of the Philippines (FSCAP), and barangay senior citizens associations.

Meanwhile, 107 centenarians in Davao Region received a Php 100,000.00 cash gift last year. Centenarians poor or rich are entitled to receive the “centenarian gift” as well as recognition from the government for reaching 100 years under Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016. (DSWD)