Senior citizens with pension excluded from social amelioration program
MANILA, Philippines — Senior citizens receiving pensions are excluded from availing the government’s cash assistance under the social amelioration program, the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Disease said Monday.
While the elderly are among the target beneficiaries of the program, IATF spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles stressed that only indigent senior citizens or those from low-income families will be granted the subsidy.
The social amelioration program was rolled out by the government to help those largely affected by the COVID-19 national emergency and enhanced community quarantine across Luzon since it suspended work and halted mass transportation.
“Pensioners are not included in low-income families. The first criteria is ‘low income.’ And among the low-income families, priority is senior citizens, solo parents, etcetera,” Nograles pointed out in a virtual briefing.
“Ang uunahin natin na senior citizens, siyempre iyong mga indigent senior citizens,” he added.
(We will prioritize, of course, the indigent senior citizens.)
Nograles, however, clarified that only those who are receiving pensions from when they used to work are excluded and not those who receive a social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
“So siguro kaya may mga na-e-exclude na senior citizens, dahil iyon ‘yung mga senior citizens na mayroon namang natatanggap na pensiyon na hindi social pension ng DSWD,” he explained.
(So maybe there are senior citizens being excluded because those senior citizens are receiving pensions that are not from DSWD’s social pension.)
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte, 18 million low-income households will be given a subsidy to help them cope with the effects of the government’s measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“Iyong 18 million families are iyong mga most—those who are in need, iyong mga nangangailangan. So iyon lamang na nahihirapan, iyon lamang nasa informal sector, iyong mga no-work, no-pay,” Nograles said.
(The 18 million families are those who are in need the most, those in the informal sector, and those whose jobs are no-work, no-pay.)
The amount, ranging from P5,000 to P8,000, to be given to beneficiaries will depend on the minimum wage in their respective regions.
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