ANGELES CITY- A total of 859 indigent senior citizens in this highly urbanized city received their social pension on Thursday at the City Hall.
Social Welfare Officer Joy Duaso said that the allocation amounting to P1,500 per beneficiary is given out by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to all senior citizens in the city who are not receiving any social pension from the government (SSS, PVAO or GSIS).
The P1.4 million budget allocation which was turned over to Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan during the full council meeting of the Regional Development Council – Central Luzon covers the senior citizens’ pension for the 4th quarter of 2017.
As specified in the Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) is an additional government assistance aiming to  improve the condition of indigent senior citizens by augmenting their daily subsistence and medical needs; and  reduce incidence of hunger; and protect them from neglect, abuse, deprivation and natural and man-made disasters.
Pursuant to the eligibility criteria as may be determined by the DSWD, indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to Five hundred pesos (Php 500) to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.
Eighty year-old Natividad Llaneta, who has been residing alone in a resettlement site in Barangay Sapalibutad, said that she is currently reliant to the assistance extended by her neighbors.
She futhered that the social pension is a great help to suffice her everyday needs.
“Gagamitin ko po ito sa aking araw-araw na pangangailangan dahil ako nalang ang mag-isa sa bahay. Lahat ng pangangailangan ko sa bahay, iyan [social pension] ang inaasahan ko,” Llaneta said.
To determine the beneficiaries, the CSWD chief said that the agency is “in constant coordination with all the 33 villages of the city as well as the city’s frontline offices, the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA)”.
“Our village councils and the OSCA provide us their master list of all senior citizens in their respective area of jurisdiction. The CSWDO will then screen them accordingly to determine if they are qualified to receive the social pension or not,” Duaso said.
Seventy year-old Elena Santos, also from Barangay Sapalibutad, said that she has been receiving the regular social pension for three years now. She added that their barangay council motivated her to avail of the said social annuity distributed by the DSWD.
“Masuwerte po kami dahil nabibigyan po kami ng gobyerno ng pang-gastos sa araw-araw lalo na at matatanda na kami at hindi na namin kaya ang maghanap-buhay pa,” Santos said.
In 2017, the DSWD allocated P17.9 Billion for the program to benefit more than 2.8 million senior citizens throughout the country.