Fix pension backlog for 466,000 indigent seniors – Angara to DSWD
MANILA, Philippine — Sen. Sonny Angara on Monday called on the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to resolve the issues reportedly causing delays in the distribution of the social pension for indigent senior citizens.
In a statement, Angara expressed alarm over the DSWD’s admission that it is facing a cash aid distribution backlog of up to 466,000 seniors who are supposed to receive an increased pension of P1,000 a month, or around P12,000 a year.
“We are alarmed by the DSWD’s declaration that it has around 466,000 backlog in the distribution of cash aid for our grandparents who have not been getting any form of support from their immediate families,” he said.
He noted the supposed recipients do not receive a regular pension and most of them do not have existing savings.
Cause of delay
“For indigent seniors, the monthly social pension would help a lot as an augmentation to their daily expenses and for their medical needs. We are inquiring into the causes of these delays and appealing to the DSWD to resolve this at the soonest possible time,” Angara said.
Angara, chair of the Senate finance committee, made the call as he reiterated the value of Republic Act No. 11916 — the law that doubled the social pension for indigent senior citizens from P6,000 to P12,000 a year.
No regular income
Before RA 11916 took effect, indigent senior citizens were receiving P500 a month to help them with their expenses, including food and medicine.
The senator said close to P50 billion is allocated under the proposed 2024 budget of the DSWD for the P1,000-a-month social pension for more than four million indigent senior citizens.
He recalled during the interpellations on the proposed budget of the DSWD, its officials admitted its backlog in the distribution of the social pension has reached an estimated P5 billion.
The Social Pension for Indigent Seniors program seeks to provide pension benefits to more than four million elderly Filipinos who have no regular income or support from family and who are not receiving any pension.
Angara said the program for the social pension for senior citizens has received a total budget of P25 billion for the past three years.