P1.33-B social pension disbursed to poor seniors in Eastern Visayas

TACLOBAN: The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has poured PHP1.33 billion as a social pension to indigent senior citizens in Eastern Visayas in the first half of 2024. The distribution of grants has benefited 223,187 poor elderly people from six provinces of the region, DSWD-Eastern Visayas regional information officer Jonalyndie Chua said in an interview on Tuesday. Of the total number of recipients, 15,530 are from Biliran province; 101,203 from Leyte, 29,950 from Southern Leyte; 35,998 from Samar; 20,560 from Eastern Samar; and 19,946 from Northern Samar. "We expect the number of beneficiaries to increase with the submission of final data from 17 towns of those who actually received the social pension. There are still five towns in Samar and Northern Samar provinces with ongoing payouts," Chua said. The PHP1.33 billion is just 76.56 percent of the PHP1.77 billion allocation for the first six months of the year. 'Under the transfer of fund modality, which has been identified as the m ost feasible and efficient delivery scheme for the distribution of the social pension in the region, the total allocated fund for the beneficiaries is transferred and disbursed by the local government units on a semestral basis, allowing a streamlined and cost-effective implementation of the program,' Chua said. The DSWD regional office and local government units are preparing for the implementation of the social pension program in the second half of 2024. As mandated by Republic Act 11916, "An Act Increasing the Social Pension of Senior Citizens", beneficiaries of the social pension program are entitled to a monthly stipend of PHP1,000 this year. Enacted in July 2022, the law doubles the monthly pension for senior citizens from PHP500. Eligible recipients must be 60 years old and older, frail and sickly, and without pensions from other government sources such as the Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Social Security System, and private insurance companies. Recipients also should not have a regular source of income or support from family or relatives to cover their basic needs Source: Philippines News Agency

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