Solon seeks monthly release of social pension for seniors

A congressional leader on Tuesday batted for a monthly release of social pension for senior citizens. 

Assistant Majority Leader and Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas made the suggestion to the Department of Social Welfare and Development as the agency transitions to cash cards for beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and the Unconditional Cash Transfer Program. 

The DSWD has partnered with LandBank of the Philippines for the implementation of the new payout mode. 

“Our indigent senior citizens need all the help they can get right now because of the uncertainties caused by the pandemic. Pagaanin natin ang buhay nina nanay at tatay, nina lolo at lola,” Vargas said. 

The chair of the House committee on social services said the shift to online lessens the logistical requirements that usually accompany the pension roll-out. 

“I think the release of social pension to our senior citizens on a monthly basis is very feasible since the system has gone automated. And with automation, we allow our beloved elderly to maintain the dignity they deserve,” the lawmaker said. 

The social pension program is a provision under Republic Act No. 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010. 

Qualified indigent senior citizens receive a monthly stipend of P500, which is paid out on a semestral basis at P3,000, to help with their daily subsistence. 

Vargas also expressed hope that a bill seeking to double the social pension’s amount to P1,000 will be enacted soon.

He is among the authors of the still unnumbered substitute bill, which the Committee on Appropriations approved last month. 

“I hope that by doubling the pension amount and releasing it monthly, we can help poor elderly Filipinos who are bearing the full brunt of the pandemic’s effects,” Vargas said.

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