Some 400 senior citizens confined at the Maximum and Medium Security Compound of several jails in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan have undergone evaluation to determine their eligibility for social pension.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) Field Office-MIMAROPA, in collaboration with the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) of the City of Puerto Princesa, conducted the assessment among the elderly persons deprived of liberty (PDLs) from December 6 to 7.
“We, at the DSWD, stay true to our commitment to provide programs and services to the vulnerable and marginalized sector, including elderly PDLs. We conducted this process so we can establish a clean list of beneficiaries and ensure that our senior citizens are qualified for the social pension program,” DSWD Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs and co-spokesperson Irene B. Dumlao said.
Asst. Sec. Dumlao, who is also the DSWD data protection officer, pointed out that under the program, senior citizens are entitled to receive Php500 per month or Php6,000 annually.
The DSWD- MIMAROPA regional office was able to evaluate some 449 senior citizens at the Iwahig Prison and Penal Farm Central Station, Inagawan Sub Colony, Montible Colony, and the Sta Lucia Colony in Puerto Princesa City.
The conduct of validation is the initial step to determine whether a senior citizen qualifies as a beneficiary based on the criteria of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program.
The Puerto Princesa CSWDO also provided and distributed identification cards from the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) that elderly persons can use to avail of various benefits and discounts for senior citizens.
The Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens is given to any elderly, aged 60 years old and above, who is frail, sickly, or with a disability, and without a pension or permanent source of income, compensation, or financial assistance from his or her relatives to support his or her basic needs.