Indigent seniors in Bicol to get additional cash aid

Published April 21, 2018, 7:25 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Philippine News Agency

Poor senior citizens under the Social Pension Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will be receiving an additional cash aid this year, the DSWD-Bicol top official said Friday.

Arnel Garcia, the regional director of DSWD Bicol, said there are 195,107 active Social Pension beneficiaries in Bicol Region who will benefit from the new program. “The department targets to distribute the cash grants in July–August 2018,”Garcia said.

Garcia said a Social Pension beneficiary would be entitled to a separate unconditional cash transfer (UCT) grant even if he/she belongs to a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) household or Listahanan-identified poor household.

The UCT, on the other hand, is a social welfare program under the TRAIN Law, which seeks to provide cash grants to poor households and individuals who may benefit from the lower income tax rates but may be adversely affected by the increase on taxes on fuel, automobiles, and sugar products.

Under the program, the senior citizens under the Social Pension Program are eligible beneficiaries including the 4Ps households, and the poor households identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) or the Listahanan. The UCT cash grant shall be provided one-time to the identified beneficiaries amounting to PHP2,400 in a year or PHP200 per month. This grant will increase in 2019-2020 to PHP3,600 or PHP300 per month.

The Social Pension Program is the government’s assistance to poor senior citizens aging 60 and above who are frail, sick or with a disability, with no regular income or support from families and relatives, and without a pension from private or government institutions.

Poor seniors are entitled to a monthly cash grant in the amount of PHP500 to supplement their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.

The program has been established through Republic Act 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 which aims to improve the living condition of indigent senior citizens and to protect them from neglect and deprivation.