BAGUIO CITY – The Cordillera office was able to distribute more than P337 million to some 77,253 senior citizens from the different parts of the region under the government’s social Pension Program to assist them in providing for some of their basic needs.
Rojhelea Ann Marie S. Claur, DSWD-Car point person for senior citizens concerns, said the financial assistance was given to the beneficiaries in cash through the offices of the different local social welfare officers who were able to establish the need for th3e senior citizens to be provided with the needed benefits.
Of the total number of beneficiaries, Abra had the largest number of senior citizens enrolled under the program with 18,513 followed by Benguet with 14,803, Ifugao with 13,082 senior citizens, Kalinga with 12,342 senior citizens, Apayao with 9,015 senior citizens, Mountain Province with 8,298 senior citizens and Baguio city with 1,000 senior citizens.
In terms of the release of the monetary benefits, Abra got the biggest allocation with P82.8 million followed by Benguet with P66.5 million, Ifugao with P59.7 million, Kalinga with P48.2 million, Apayao with P38.6 million, Mountain Province with P37.3 million and Baguio city with P4.4 million.
Under the government’s Social Pension Program, indigent senior citizens aged 60 and above are provided a monthly cash grant of P500 purposely to serve as assistance for them to be able to provide some of their basic needs, particularly food and medicines among others.
DSWD-CAR officials claimed there was a significant increase in the number of registered beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program after the agency decided to lower the minimum age of those who will be qualified for the assistance from 70 to 60 years old.
The DSWD-CAR based the actual number of beneficiaries of the program from the results of the national household targeting system survey which determined the total number of poor and non-poor senior citizens from the different parts of the region since the program was implemented several years ago.
Claur stated the agency is conducting constant monitoring on the beneficiaries of the program through the cooperation of the concerned municipal social welfare and development officers so that the recipients of the assistance will be the ones to receive the cash grant from the agency when the funds will be distributed to them.\
According to her, all the identified indigent senior citizens from the different parts of the region were already enrolled by their respective municipal social welfare and development officers when the age limit for the beneficiaries was reduced that is why the agency is working on when to conduct the required registration to ascertain whether or not there will be additional senior citizens who will be enrolled in the program for them to enjoy the cash grant to be provided by no less than the government.
Claur appealed to beneficiaries of the program to visit the nearest social welfare office in their place for them to be able to clarify issues pertinent to their questions on how the program is being implemented by the concerned government agencies and the local government.