BAGUIO CITY – The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) urged senior citizens who are beneficiaries of the various programs of concerned government agencies and the local government to register only with barangay-based senior citizens associations and not with outside groups.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan pointed out that barangay-based senior citizens groups are di—affiliated with the federation which is under the supervision of the CSWDO that is why the same are considered legitimate associations that advance the interest of the city’s elderly.
She claimed that there was an instance that there was a group that claimed to advance the interest of senior citizens who had been recruiting senior citizens from the different barangays and demanded from them some amount as membership fee for the same to facilitate the immediate processing of the release of their benefits from the various programs of concerned government agencies.
However, in such cases, Fangasan advised the senior citizens being recruited to first seek the advice of the social worker assigned in their barangays to be able to get the right advice so that they will not be hoodwinked into shelling out money that might have no effect in the processing and release of their benefits.
According to her, senior citizens should refrain from providing important information to those individuals who are requesting the same from them to facilitate the processing of their benefits from various programs of the government to prevent them from being unnecessarily giving out money to facilitate the processing and immediate release of the funds for the said benefits.
She asserted that it is the social welfare department that processes and releases to the beneficiaries the prescribed amount for the government’s social pension program and that the same is not being coursed through private groups that is why senior citizens should not be easily convinced to shell out their money in exchange for the promised processing and release of their benefits.
She advised that the best way that senior citizens will be able to deal with the said situation is for them to immediately get in touch with the assigned social worker or their barangay officials to ascertain the identity of the involved individuals and to determine the validity and authority of their going around the city’s barangays and requesting important data from the elderly in the guise of helping them process their benefits.
Fangasan appealed to those individuals wanting to take advantage of the ongoing health crisis to cart away huge sums of money from the elderly not to do so because it is improper for them to try to enrich themselves at the expenses of the senior citizens who had also been heavily impacted by the pandemic that is why it is best for them to do other legal and productive ways of earning a decent income for their families.
The local government department head revealed that senior citizens should be aware of the regulations governing the implementation of the various social services being provided by the government to prevent them from being victimized by unscrupulous individuals wanting to take advantage of the difficult situation to be able to enrich themselves. By Dexter A. See