The government has released over PHP700 million in cash grants in the past 11 months to indigent senior citizens in Region 12 (Soccsksargen).
Cezario Joel Espejo, director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12, said Friday they already covered a total of 155,819 senior citizens or 78 percent of the total 199,856 in the entire region who are qualified to receive the social pension.
Espejo said released grants already covered the second semester benefits, set at PHP500 a month, of the eligible senior citizens.
The agency has been releasing the social pension every three months or quarterly basis at PHP1,500 each. Espejo said the distributed grants have so far reached a total of PHP708.7 million.
In coordination with the local government units, he said they have fasttracked the releases of the cash grants for the other senior citizens.
“We are working to finish the distribution of the pension for the remaining 22 percent before the year ends,” he said in a statement.
Labinia Banes, DSWD-12 focal person for the social pension program, acknowledged that the distribution of the grants was delayed to due to cleansing of the list of beneficiaries nationwide.
Banes advised recipients, who have not yet received their social pensions, to coordinate with the local Office of Senior Citizens Affairs for the schedule of the releases.
In August, DSWD-12 said it delisted some 124,945 beneficiaries in Region 12 and in Cotabato City, which is now part of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao, due to eligibility and other related issues.
The agency’s validation showed that there were beneficiaries who have duplicate or double entries in their database while some were found ineligible as they were already receiving pension from other social security agencies. (PNA)