Davao City (DSWD XI) –“We, at the Department would like to reiterate that the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens is solely for poor older persons not receiving any pension from any government or private institution,” announced Mercedita P. Jabagat, Regional Director of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) during an interview.

Earlier, reports reached DSWD Regional Office that some of those queueing up during payouts to claim the DSWD Social Pension are government and private pensioners, retirees who are receiving regular monthly pensions.

Director Jabagat said, “To immediately correct this problem, I have instructed our staffs under the Social Pension Unit to conduct validation of the list of social pensioners which was endorsed by local government units to DSWD. We also have communicated to the Office of Senior Citizens’ Affairs (OSCA) and the Local Government Units to help us disseminate the correct information. This is on top of the radio, newspaper and social media announcements and advisories we regularly feed to the public just to make sure that the assistance goes to the intended beneficiaries.”

“In our validation, we intend to saturate all barangays in the region to be able to ensure that only those who are eligible should receive the social pension,” Director Jabagat said.

Per DSWD records, Davao Region has 254,526 potential social pensioners as of second quarter of 2018. In 2017, the Department served 136,067.

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.

Qualified senior citizens may apply at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), which endorses the application to the City or Municipal Social Welfare Development Office for validation, same office then endorses the application to DSWD Regional Office.

Meanwhile, 13 centenarians in Davao Region will receive their Php 100,000.00 cash gift next week. For 2018, a total of Php 4 million will fund the 40 potential centenarians in the region. 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)