The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Caraga has now completed the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program payout in the province of Agusan del Sur, providing grants to 41, 397 indigent seniors, with a total of P124, 191,000.00 cash assistance served.
Due to the crisis brought about by the Novel Coronavirus Disease or COVID- 19, DSWD FO Caraga fast-tracked the distribution of the 2nd-semester payout of the SocPen program leading to the completion of the Agusan del Sur province last October 20, 2020.
The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program is known as a government-assistance that aims to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of the indigent senior citizens. Republic Act No, 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” – Section 5, specifies that indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to Five hundred pesos (Php500.00), which is distributed on a semestral basis that is accumulated to a total of P3,000 cash assistance in the period of six(6) months.
The law also specifies under Section 3 that qualified Indigent senior citizen pertains to any elderly who is frail, sickly or with a disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance from his/her relatives to support his/her basic needs.
To ensure an efficient payout, DSWD Caraga opted to conduct a direct payment by a designated Special Disbursing Officer (SDO) in coordination with the Local Government Units (LGUs) of the scheduled respective provinces/municipalities/cities.
Inasmuch as DSWD would like to cater all senior citizens, the budget for the SocPen program is limited. Nevertheless, DSWD assures that they are doing their best to ensure that only the rightful beneficiaries are provided with government assistance.
DSWD also assured the public that they are adhering the existing safety and health protocols to determine the best payout method to lessen the exposure of beneficiaries and personnel to the global phase of pandemic alert caused by the COVID -19.