More than 300,000 indigent senior citizens in Western Visayas who are listed in the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Social Pension Program will be receiving a P500 increase in their monthly allowance.    

This was confirmed by DSWD-6 Director Carmelo N. Nochete as he noted that each beneficiary will now be receiving double the amount of how much they were receiving during the previous year.

“This means that for the whole year, instead of the previous amount of P6,000 per year, they will be receiving P12,000 Social Pension,” he said.

According to the DSWD regional chief, the provisions of Republic Act No. 11916 or the Act Increasing the Social Pension of Indigent Senior Citizens and Appropriating funds therefor, amending for the purpose Republic Act no. 7432, entitled “An act to maximize the contribution of senior citizens to nation-building, grant benefits, and special privileges, and for other purposes,” will already be effective this year, increasing the social pension of indigent senior citizens from P500 to P1,000 per month.

Earlier, DSWD Assistant Secretary for Strategic Communications Romel Lopez announced, in a separate press release, the increase in the monthly stipend of senior citizens starting the second month of this year.

“We expect that the distribution of the social pension for the first semester with its increased amount will commence this February 2024,” Lopez noted.

Based on the data of DSWD-6, there are a total of 385,954 indigent senior citizens in Western Visayas who are covered by the social pension program.

The majority of these are coming from the province of Iloilo with 152,748 beneficiaries, followed by Capiz with 56,265, Negros Occidental with 54,403, Aklan with 46,148, Antique with 41,972, Guimaras with 14,767, Iloilo City with 13,676, and Bacolod City with 5,975 social pensioners.

Social pension is the additional government assistance to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

Nochete added that the grant of social pension is subject to a review every two years by Congress, particularly as to the amount of pension.

“This latest development of increasing the pension is a milestone in elderly care. We thank our legislators for this initiative. Now, the elderly will be enjoying it as this comes into reality,” he noted.AAL/FRG/PIA6