CARMEN, Davao Del Norte – Nearly 2000 social pensioners here expressed happiness and gratefulness following the recent release of their social pension by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Held at the municipal gymnasium last June 28, the payout was led by Protective Services Division chief of DSWD, Ma. Elena S. Labrador.

67 years old Ernesto B. Javier Sr. of Purok 2A, Barangay Ising said, “Dako gyud ni nga tabang. Makapalit nako sa akong gusto. Salamat kaayo (This is a big help. I can now buy what I want. Thank you so much).” A former construction worker, Javier is skilled in electrical, plumbing, masonry and piling. He said he will buy rice and pay his electric bill too.

Ika unom na ni nako nga pagdawat sa social pension. Malipayon mi nga midawat niini. Dako among pasalamat sa mihatag niini (This is my 6th time to receive my social pension. We are happy to get this and we are very grateful),” said Sofronio T. Camacho, 72, of Purok 1, Barangay Salvacion. Camacho has six children who are also tending their own families. He shared about his aching knees, making it difficult for him to move around. From his social pension, he would get milk, medicines, food, viand and rice.

Elenita C. Gavino, 69, eagerly shared that after buying milk, rice and viand, she will use the remaining amount for the education needs of her grandchild. “Magpalit pud ko og medisina para sa akong sakit sa kasingkasing. Lipay gyud mi nga nia na ang hinabang (I will also buy medicines for my heart problem. We feel really joyful that the assistance has arrived).” A resident of Purok 8, Barangay Tuganay, Gavino has five children but she lives with her grandchild. To support their daily food consumption, she grows vegetables, pepper, lemon grass, camote, banana and more.

For Everisto T. Aliviado, 76 years old, “Gamiton nako ni para sa panud-an, bugas ug medisina. Salamat sa paghatag niini (I will use this money to buy my viand, rice and medicines. Thank you for extending this).” From Barangay Ising, Aliviado used to live on fishing until his right leg was afflicted with bone cancer. He started wearing an artificial leg in 1976.

Salamat sa tanan. Maayo unta madugangan ang pension (Thank you everyone. I hope our pension will be increased),” Editha J. Mahumot, 69 eagerly exclaimed. Mahumot lives in Barangay Ising. She said she will purchase rice, medicines, vegetables and viand.

“We completed the payout at one in the afternoon. We commend the beneficiaries, the local government unit and the local social welfare and development office for their support in making the payout orderly, peaceful and smooth. We are hoping for a similar experience in our succeeding payouts in other towns,” said Arris P. Medrano, DSWD head of social pension unit.

“In claiming the pension, personal appearance is required with valid Identification Card and a photocopy of the ID. For those physically unable or bedridden, we need to go to their homes and personally hand in their pension,” Medrano said.

DSWD has been conducting the social pension payout throughout the region Tuesday through Friday beginning last week of June. (DSWD)