Amid the threat of COVID-19, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has adopted the house-to-house delivery scheme for the centenarian cash gift of Filipino citizens 100 years old and above, as stated under Republic Act (RA) No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016.
DSWD is adopting this mode of delivering the cash incentives in cognizance of the centenarians’ health and physical limitations. The scheme is also more convenient for them and their relatives especially that the government encourages seniors to stay at home as part of health and safety protocols.
To avail of the benefits under the law, relatives of the centenarians must submit primary documents such as birth certificates and Philippine passports to the city or municipal social welfare office (C/MSWDO) and the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in their localities.
If the two documents are not available, any one of the primary Identification Cards (IDs) is also accepted such as those issued by OSCA, Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), and Social Security System (SSS); driver’s license; Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) license; and Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Voter’s ID.
Secondary documents may also be submitted such as marriage certificate either from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) or the Local Civil Registrar’s Office (LCRO); birth certificates of the children of the centenarian issued by the PSA or the LCRO; affidavits from two disinterested persons, aged 80 years who have personal knowledge of the centenarian’s age and birthdate; school and employment records showing the age of the centenarian; baptismal or confirmation records issued by churches and religious organizations; medical or dental examinations by government or private doctors and dentists; certifications from the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) ; and other similar organizations.
For centenarians who were alive when the law took effect on July 15, 2016 but died before the actual implementation, their relatives should submit birth certificate, baptismal or confirmation records, marriage certificate, that will prove the deceased centenarians’ age eligibility at the time RA 10868 took effect, if any. Death certificate of the deceased centenarians, copy of ID of the nearest surviving relative, certificate of live birth of the nearest surviving relative and other relevant documents that would establish the relationship to the deceased centenarians should also be shown. In case of various nearest surviving relatives, a Special Power of Attorney (SPA) authorizing one of them to receive the centenarian gift on behalf of all of them should be made. The nearest surviving relative should also execute a Warranty and Release Liability Form. Meanwhile, for deceased centenarians under the care of residential care facilities, their cash incentives will be deposited to the account of the institution if there is no nearest living relative who will be claiming the amount.
On the other hand, centenarians who have been abandoned by their families but under the care of a social welfare institution, the local government unit (LGU), a DSWD facility, or a non-relative may also be able to claim their cash incentive. The documents that were submitted to the local government units shall be endorsed to the respective DSWD Field Offices (FOs), subject for further validation of the assigned technical staff of the FO, before processing and releasing of the incentive.
The Department has also allocated funds for overseas centenarians to be released once the Joint Memorandum Circular between and among the DSWD, Commission on Overseas Filipinos, Department of Foreign Affairs, and Philippine Veterans Affairs Office will be signed this year.
Republic Act (RA) No. 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016 states that all Filipinos, who have reached 100 years old and above, whether residing in the Philippines or abroad shall be honored with a Letter of Felicitation from the President of the Philippines congratulating the celebrant for his or her longevity; and a Centenarian gift in the amount of P100,000.
From 2016-2019, DSWD has released P560,900,000 for the cash gift of 5,609 centenarians nationwide. For this year, as of June 15, some 289 centenarians received P100,000 each amounting to P28,900,000. A total of 952 centenarians are expected to benefit from the law this year.
DSWD remains committed in its mandate of providing programs and services to the most vulnerable sectors of our society, most especially the senior citizens in honor of their contribution to nation building. ###