Davao City (DSWD XI) – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) recently awarded Php 100,000.00 cash each to 13 eligible centenarians in the region with ages ranging from 100 to 105 years.

“Our personnel had to go house-to-house in remotest villages to save the older persons from long and bumpy rides and to ensure that the eligible recipient receives the cash award and signs or thumb marks the payroll following the simple turnover,” Director Mercedita P. Jabagat said.

According to Director Jabagat, some local government units opted to conduct the awarding as a special municipal ceremony in the presence of the mayor, other local officials and the centenarians’ family members.

“We target at least 40 centenarians for 2018. Earlier, validation of centenarians was conducted by DSWD staffs to verify the documents submitted such as birth certificate or Philippine passport, senior citizen identification card or any other Philippine government-issued ID which shows age and citizenship,” Director Jabagat said.

Other alternative and acceptable documents to prove the claim include marriage certificate, old school documents, baptismal or confirmation records, birth certificate of children, or an affidavit executed by at least two (2) disinterested persons at least 80 years old with personal knowledge of the centenarian’s actual age or birth date.

DSWD focal for older persons Arris P. Medrano shared, “Most of the centenarians can still move around and some even eagerly responded to queries from DSWD personnel. 101 year-old Nanay Segundina even sang and danced to express her happiness over the unexpected “gift”. Most were shocked and teary-eyed but all, including their children and grandchildren were grateful to God and to government.”

Republic Act 10868 or An  Act Honoring and Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Filipino Centenarians, and for Other Purposes also known as the Centenarians Act of 2016, grants all Filipinos who reach the age of 100, whether residing in the country or abroad, a cash award of Php 100,000.00 as a “centenarian gift.”

Aside from the cash, they will also receive a Letter of Felicitation signed by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and a posthumous Plaque of Recognition for deceased centenarians who died upon the effectivity of the Act.

Centenarians are also entitled to awards and incentives from their respective city or municipality to be determined by the local government unit.

President Duterte signed the Act into law on June 23, 2016. (DSWD)