To ensure the health and safety of senior citizens, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is shifting to the use of cash cards for the beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) Program.
DSWD is working together with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) for the implementation of this new mode of delivering the social pension and UCT grants to the senior-beneficiaries. At present, the social pension subsidies and the UCT grants are given through direct payout or house-to-house distribution.
DSWD explained that the use of cash card is a safer and faster way of delivering the stipends.
The cash cards will be distributed by the LBP servicing branches, in partnership with the DSWD Field Offices, within this year. Beneficiaries may, then, be able to withdraw their social pension and UCT grants.
As of August 2020, LBP has processed some 208,965 cash cards of social pensioners in NCR and Region II and has already forwarded these to the LBP servicing branches for distribution. Of this number, 104,694 cards are for pensioners in NCR, and 104,271 are for those in Region II.
Distribution of the cash cards will be done in Land Bank premises and offsite areas from 9:00am to 2:00pm. It shall be made on a per batch or per barangay basis for crowd control and in compliance with the social distancing protocol.
For the safety and security of the beneficiaries as well as LBP and DSWD employees, health protocols, such as temperature check, wearing of face mask and face shield, provision of hand disinfectants and sanitizers, and social distancing will be implemented.
In addition, help desk officers and medical staff, in coordination with the local government units and Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA), shall be present during the offsite distribution.
For beneficiaries who are sick or bedridden, they can send their authorized representatives to claim their cards provided they are certified by the concerned OSCA or Local Social Welfare and Development Office.
DSWD assured senior citizens that the Department will continue to explore ways and means to facilitate the speedy distribution of their benefits. ###