Eighty-six years old Mrs Elvira P Hernandez of Parang, Jose Panganiban, enjoys her discounted meal at a Manila fastfood. – MWBuzzpic by SAMUEL P HERNANDEZ
By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
THE indigent senior citizens of Mambulao could look forward to something more from the program looking after their welfare.
At present, the Senior Citizens Regional Coordinating and Monitoring Board (RCMB) in CamNorte is conducting a survey of all senior citizen pensioners in Mambulao who benefit under Republic Act 9994, a law which provides for the welfare of Filipino senior citizens.
RCMB has been visiting senior citizens in the province’s 12 municipalities, particularly the indigent pensioners, to find out from them how the present pension coverage could be improved.
Mambulao has 123 pensioners out of an estimated 2,000 senior citizens, who are receiving P500 a month but paid out every quarter.
The pensioners, who are spread across the 25 baranggays of Jose Panganiban, had thanked the program as the pension money helps them a lot on medicines and food.
Two baranggays – San Rafael and Pag-asa – don’t have pensioners at the moment because they missed out on the survey of indigent senior citizens done in 2007.
Qualified for the monthly pension are those indigent 77 years old and above.
The P500 monthly pension is provided under Republic Act No 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”.
The social pension program is one of the poverty reduction programs of President Aquino being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to achieve his goal of inclusive growth and to
fulfill his social contract with the Filipino people.
For 2012, the DSWD allocated P1.2 billion for the social pension program.
At present, the grants are given in a payout scheme through the local city and municipal social welfare offices, the DSWD said.
According to the DSWD, the program has allotted over P1.2 billion for some 185,914 senior citizens nationwide, of which 140,699 indigent senior citizens are currently receiving their monthly pension (as of August 31, 2012).
Senior citizens also enjoy a 20% discount on essential goods and services, including food, medicines and professional fees of doctors.