“Higit sa lahat, nagpapasalamat din ako sa ngalan ng mga Senior Citizens sa aming barangay na isa sa mga nakabenepisyo ng bagong serbisyo pagde-deliver ng aming pension sa aming bahay.”
Rosario Resulta, 78 years old stressed in her testimony during the culminating activity of the DSWD’s 65th Anniversary celebration at Malacanang Palace on February 2.
Nanay Charing of Brgy. Abagon, Gerona, Tarlac became the sole breadwinner of her family after her husband’s death in 1964. She has four children- three are now married and one single who assist in taking care of his brother-in-law since he suffered stroke.
Ako po at lahat ng pamilya ng aking mga anak ay masasabing mahirap. Dati akong caretaker ng isang pamilya ngunit kalaunan ay naging palipat-lipat sa aking mga anak at kamag-anak. Nagtinda rin ako ng mga gulay sa palengke. At kahit madali nang mapagod dahil sa katandaan, nagpatuloy pa din ako upang hindi maging pabigat sa aking mga anak. Tumigil lang po ako at nakapagpahinga kahit papaano nang magsimula akong tumanggap ng social pension, Nanay Charing said.
Nanay Charing is one of the 69,513 indigent senior citizens served under the Social Pension Program in Central Luzon in 2015. She is also one of the 32,460 older persons from Central Luzon who now benefits from the door-to-door delivery of stipends/grants under the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) that started in October 2015.
The door-to-door scheme developed after the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) was executed between the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office III (DSWD FO III) and the Philippine Veterans Bank (PVB), a private commercial banking corporation.
On October 26, 2015, DSWD Field Office III Regional Director Gemma B. Gabuya, Director Pacita Sarino of the DSWD-Protective Services Bureau, San Felipe MSWDO Rowell Villanueva, and representatives from Veterans Bank led the first door-to-door delivery of the SPISC stipends in San Felipe, Zambales.
Victoria Dumaual and Amado Acenas of Barangay Amagna, San Felipe, Zambales are among the 32,460 senior citizens who will benefit from this scheme. “Malaking tulong po ito sa amin dahil dito na mismo sa bahay dadalhin ang pension ng nanay ko,” said Domingo Dumaual, son of the 79-year-old Victoria Dumaual, the first beneficiary who received her grant through this scheme.
Amado Acenas, 80 years old is another social pensioner who received his grant through the door-to-door delivery. Amado’s wife, Lapaz Acenas said this is a great relief for her because she will no longer go to town during the pay-out. “Four years nang nakaratay ang asawa ko dahil naatake sya at malaking ginhawa ito sa akin dahil namamasukan ako bilang tagalinis ng isang bahay. Malaking tulong po ang pension ng mister ko dahil di sapat ang kinikita kong P2,000 sa isang buwan,” Mrs. Acenas added.
Mary Jean Balico, head of Social Pension Unit said that the DSWD FO III some 32,460 seniors aged 65 and above in selected cities and municipalities in Central Luzon benefited from this scheme. The seniors were among the identified beneficiaries of SPISC based on the result of the data generated by the Listahanan or National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the DSWD.
DSWD, the lead agency in the implementation of the SPISC, has identified PVB which has the capabilities to perform the service of distributing the cash grants/stipends to SPISC beneficiaries in selected cities and municipalities in the region. PVB was procured through public bidding and the MOA is in accordance to RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR).
The PVB has started implementing the pay-out of the grants/stipends to SPISC beneficiaries via door-to-door delivery in their respective addresses in accordance with the master list from DSWD. Pay-out should be completed within 30 calendar days from PVB’s receipt of the check and master list.
Based on the MOA, PVB shall release the grant only to the SPISC beneficiary and will not release the grant to a representative even if armed with a special power of attorney. PVB shall only pay beneficiaries who have complied with the requirements.
DSWD shall pay PVB a service fee of P100.00 for every grant/stipend successfully delivered and paid out.
To date, there are 64,288 indigent senior citizens who are benefiting from SPISC in Region III. Other means of disbursing the grants are through pay-out or fund transfer to the local government units (LGUs).
The grant/stipend under the SPISC is an additional government assistance given to indigent senior citizens pursuant to Republic Act No. 9994 also known as Expanded Senior citizens Act of 2010. It aims to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of Filipino indigent senior citizens.
Under the operational guidelines issued by the DSWD, senior citizens who are 65 years old and above and who meet the eligibility criteria will benefit from this program. All qualified senior citizens shall receive their P500 monthly social pension on a quarterly basis in the first month of each quarter.
Indigent senior citizens are those who are frail, sick, disabled, not receiving monthly pension from Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces of the Philippines Savings and Loan Association, Inc. (AFPSLAI) and other private insurance companies. Senior citizens who do not have permanent source of income or regular support from their families or relatives are also qualified to avail of the program.
“Labis po ang aking pasasalamat sa ating Pangulong Aquino at sa DSWD dahil sa pagpapatupad at pagpapalawak ng sakop ng Social Pension program. Talagang napakalaking tulong po nito sa amin,” Nanay Charing said.
Higit sa lahat, nagpapasalamat din ako sa ngalan ng mga Senior Citizens sa aming barangay na isa sa mga nakabenepisyo ng bagong serbisyo na pagde-deliver ng aming pension sa aming bahay. Hindi na po kami nahihirapan sa pamasahe at sa pagpila, lalo na po at ang iba sa amin ay may sakit at naka-wheelchair na. Muli po ay pinaabot ko ang taos-pusong pasasalamat at nawa ay magpatuloy at lumawak pa ang serbisyong ito, Nanay Charing concluded. ###