BAGUIO CITY – Cordillera Administrative Region – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) here has already released a total amount of P 1.3 million to thirteen (13) centenarians from the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga and Mountain Province to the centenarians or their families as a form of recognition and assistance.
The said incentive is the department’s contribution in the implementation of Republic Act 10868 or the Centenarians Act of 2016, also known as an “Act Honoring and Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Filipino Centenarians, and for Other Purposes.”
In the Cordillera Administrative Region, there are twenty-three (23) centenarians who have qualified to receive the P 100,000 incentive. Of the 23, nine (9) are from Mt. Province, four (4) from Apayao, Abra, and Kalinga and one (1) each from Baguio City and Ifugao.
“One of the challenges that we encounter on the provision of the cash incentive to our centenarians is the lack of documents verifying their date of birth,” DSWD-CAR OIC-Regional Director Janet P. Armas said.
DSWD’s Memorandum Circular No. 4, Series of 2017 states that the birth certificate or Philippine passport of the centenarian should be presented to the local social welfare and development officer, head of the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in partnership with a partner civil society organization for the verification of the centenarian’s date of birth.
In the absence of the aforementioned documents, the senior citizen’s identification (ID) card or any Philippine-government issued ID may also be accepted. Meanwhile, two (2) of the following secondary documents maybe accepted in the absence of the aforementioned primary IDs: marriage certificate; birth certificate of children borne by/of the centenarian issued by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) of the Local Civil Registrar; affidavits executed by at least two (2) disinterested persons who are at least 80 years old with personal knowledge of centenarian’s actual age or date of birth; old school or employment record showing date of birth of centenarian; baptismal and/ or confirmation records of centenarian certified by the parish church and other religious denomination; Medical or dental examination issued by medical practitioners; and other related documents stating the date of birth of the centenarian.
Meanwhile, out of the 13, eight (8) centenarians were able to personally receive the cash incentive while the incentive of the deceased centenarians was received by their families or their representatives.
In a supplemental guideline, Filipino centenarians, whether residing in the country or abroad, who were alive when the law took effect on 15 July 2016 but died before the actual implementation of the law are still entitled to receive the incentive.
This shall be received by the legal representative or the nearest surviving relative of the centenarian.
On the other hand, the DSWD is still distributing the remaining P 1 million to the centenarians who have not received their incentive.
For 2017, the DSWD-CAR has already received the documents of around 79 centenarians. However, the said documents are still for evaluation and verification. Incentive for the said centenarians are targeted to be released 3rd quarter of this year.
“We will do our best to fast track the release of the incentives because we recognize that time is of the essence. We hope that all our stakeholders, especially the family of our centenarians will be proactive in the process. We also hope that the incentive will be properly used for the benefit of the centenarians”, Director Armas said.
Any queries, comments, or grievances regarding the incentive can be forwarded to the local social welfare and development office, OSCA or to DSWD-CAR through https://www.facebook.com/dswdfocar/, firstname.lastname@example.org or (074) 446-59-61 and look for Ms. Rojhelea Claur.
By Nerizza Faye G. Villanueva