MANILA—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is planning to provide a monthly stipend to 2.8 million indigent senior citizens this year.
The figure is more than double the 1.3 million target beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) program in 2016, the department said in a release issued Thursday.
The program has an approved budget allocation of PHP17.94 billion this year, compared to PHP8.71 billion last year.
The SPISC program grants poor senior citizens PHP500 to augment their daily subsistence, including their medical needs.
Started in 2011 through Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the program aims to improve the living condition of eligible indigent senior citizens and to protect them from neglect and deprivation.
The target beneficiaries are those aged 60 years old and above who are frail, sickly or with disability; with no regular income or support from family and relatives, and without pension from private or government institutions.
The program is being implemented by the DSWD through its 17 field offices, in partnership with local government units and with help from the city and municipal social welfare offices and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).
As of Jan. 31, a total of 1,331,747 senior citizens or 96.79 percent of the target 1,375,970 beneficiaries for 2016, were able to receive their social pension.
The conduct of payout is still ongoing for the remaining 44,223 beneficiaries.
Out of the total PHP8.7 billion allocation for the program last year, PHP8.5 billion or 98.21 percent has been used up for the program.