To augment the needs of indigent senior citizens during the enhanced community quarantine, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has already started the 1st semester payout of its Social Pension (SocPen) Program.

As of May 1, a total of 77,531 indigent senior citizens in Region XI have already received their pension for the first semester amounting to P3,000 pesos each at P500 per month from January to June, equivalent to more than P232 million.

Meanwhile, other DSWD Field Offices (FOs) are now finalizing the fund transfer process with concerned local government units (LGUs) for the immediate release of the stipend of remaining beneficiaries.

To ensure the efficient payout, the FOs will provide the official list of social pensioners to LGUs and forge a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the distribution of the grant specifically for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine. Once the MOA is signed, DSWD will transfer the fund to concerned LGUs for payout to beneficiaries.

Some FOs are also conducting cash payouts directly to the senior citizen-beneficiaries through their Special Disbursing Officers (SDO). However, the distribution schedules may depend due to the ongoing implementation of the enhanced community quarantine and other circumstances in the area.

SocPen is a program under Republic Act No. 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” which provides monthly stipend amounting to P500 to indigent senior citizens in order to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs. It is distributed on a semestral basis at P3,000 per semester or P500 per month for six (6) months.

The law specifies that seniors qualified to receive social pension are those who are frail, sickly or with disability; without any pension from other government agencies; and without a permanent source of income or source of financial assistance/compensation to support their basic needs.

The Department assures the public that it will adhere to existing safety and health protocols in determining the best payout method to lessen the exposure of its beneficiaries and personnel to COVID-19. ###