‘Membership to elderly orgs not needed for social pension’

The head of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office Region 6 stressed that membership to organizations is not a requirement for one to avail of the social pension program.

“We respect the right of the senior citizens to form organizations and become members of these groups. However, we want to clarify that DSWD does not require membership to any organization for one to avail of the social pension program,” Ma. Evelyn Macapobre, DSWD-6 director, said.

The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens provides a monthly stipend of P500, or P6,000 per year, to the senior citizens to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

This is in line with the fulfillment of the government to the most vulnerable sector through social protection and for the full implementation of RA 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Eligible are:

• 60 years old and above
• Frail, sickly, or with disability
• No pension from GSIS, SSS, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI) or any other insurance company;
• No permanent source of income; and
• No regular support from family or relatives for his or her basic needs

“These are the only eligibility criteria for the Social Pension program. Nobody can compel the elderly to join an organization for the sake of receiving the pension,” Macapobre said.

In Western Visayas, there are 365,908 elderly beneficiaries.

“We are optimistic that we will be able to complete the payout before the year ends,” Macapobre said.*