Butuan City- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga targets 61,044 social pensioners for 2015.

About 3.7 million is expected to be disbursed for the whole year that will cover the five provinces of the Region; province of Surigao del Sur, Surigao del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Agusan del Norte and Province of Dinagat Islands.

Social Pension for indigent senior citizens is an additional government assistance with the amount of five hundred pesos (P500.00) monthly stipend to augment the capacity of senior citizens to meet their daily subsistence and other medical needs, reduce incidence of hunger and protect them [senior citizens] from neglect, abuse and deprivation.

“Our elderly deserves to be taken cared-of especially during these solitary days of their lives. Our government through the DSWD assures support to our indigent senior citizens by giving them 500.00php a month,” DSWD Regional Director Minda B. Brigoli, CESO III said.

The distribution of social pension to the beneficiaries is given quarterly at P1,500 per pay-out thru the following mode of payment (1) cash pay-out- distribution of cash grants to the beneficiaries is being done by the DSWD FO staff at the LGUs, (2) transfer of fund to LGU- the social pension fund is being transferred to the LGUs, and the (3) door-to-door delivery scheme – refers to the delivery of cash grants to the residence of the social pension beneficiaries thru the service provider contracted by the DSWD-FO.

“Because our senior citizens merit more than the government could offer them. That is why, in all occasion and instances, we always give priorities to our seniors may it be in public or in private circumstances,” Brigoli added.

As reflected in the new circulated eligibility requirements/qualifications, a member senior citizen should be 65 years old and above, frail, sickly and bedridden, has no regular income, without pension received from SSS, GSIS, and other insurance company, and should be proven indigent.

Based on records, the number of target beneficiaries rises up to 61,044 this year with total allocated funds of 366,264,000.00 from the 18,923 beneficiaries last year with a total utilized fund of 113,538,000.00.

The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens is one of the provisions under Section 5 of Republic Act No. 9994 otherwise known as the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” (###DSWDFieldOfficeCaragaSocialMarketingUnit###).