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DSWD to include ‘Malaya Lolas’ in Social Pension program

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is now processing the inclusion of the members of the ‘Malaya Lolas’ in its Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Program.

“Even before the decision of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) was released, the DSWD already provided assistance since 2021. Ten of the Malaya Lolas were already beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens,” Asst. Secretary for International Affairs and Attached and Supervised Agencies Elaine Fallarcuna said during a Senate hearing on Tuesday (May 7).

The public hearing was called jointly by three committees to discuss the issues and other concerns on Senate Resolution No. 539 or the Philippine Government Treaty Obligations to the Comfort Women.

Asst. Secretary Fallarcuna told the Committee on Foreign Relations chaired by Senator Imee Marcos that the DSWD has been providing social pension to some of the members of the ‘Malaya Lolas’ since 2021.

The ‘Malaya Lolas’ is an organization of former comfort women or victims of sexual slavery by the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II.

Asst. Sec. Fallarcuna reported to the Senate committee that the remaining members of the organization were already assessed by DSWD social workers and assured Senator Marcos that they will be included in the agency’s Social Pension Program in the second semester of 2024.

“The remaining members were already assessed by our Field Offices and we are in close coordination with the Kaisa-Ka sa Malaya Lolas every quarter. We already provided financial assistance to the 18-now… actually when we started, Madame Chair, they are 24. Then every quarter nababawasan po sila, nagiging 20, 19, hanggang noong April 12 po na bumalik yung ating Field Office-3 (Central Luzon) to conduct case management, 18 [na lang sila],” Asst. Sec. Fallarcuna pointed out.

“Rest assured, Madame Chair, that this second semester of 2024, they are already included in the Social Pension Program,” the DSWD official said.

The social pension is given to any elderly, aged 60 years 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.

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