Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rolando Bautista on Thursday said they have so far provided assistance to some 2,907,520 indigent senior citizens this year.
“This is under the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SocPen) program of the agency which is worth PHP8,722,560,000,” he said in Filipino.
SocPen is being implemented through Republic Act 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”.
It states that qualified indigent senior citizens will receive a monthly stipend of PHP500 to help augment their daily sustenance and other medical needs.
The social pension is distributed on a semestral basis at PHP3,000 per semester or PHP500 per month for six months.
DSWD said seniors who are 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.
Meanwhile, Bautista is also promoting another bill that seeks to advocate the rights and welfare of the elderly.
The Anti-Elder Abuse Bill, which was refiled in the 18th Congress, is one of DSWD’s priority legislative measures.
It seeks to penalize abuses committed against senior citizens, and develop strategies to prevent or reduce the abuses committed against them.
The agency said it is working closely with various senior citizens’ associations and NGOs, such as the Coalition of Services for the Elderly and the Federation of Senior Citizens Associations in the Philippines to advocate for legislative measures.
Recently, DSWD celebrated the Elderly Filipino Week where they campaigned that all sectors should work together in building a caring society where the rights of older persons are protected and respected. (PNA)