December 1, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Department of Social Welfare and Development in partnership with the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) conducted an orientation on home care support services for senior citizens (HCSSSC) to elders in the capital town last July 5. 

HCSSSC is a community-based program of the DSWD that aims to provide quality care to sick, frail, and bed-bound senior citizens in their own homes through their family/kinship carers and homecare volunteers.

The program aims to identify ways for older adults to retain valued roles and maintain independence, identify areas where older persons can be employed, examine labor policies in hiring older persons, increase access to mental health services for older adults, stop abusive acts on senior citizens (verbal abuse, negligence, and physical harm), and enhance the benefits and privileges of senior citizens.

Philippine statistics research shows that five percent of the total number of senior citizens are frail, weak, and are left alone to fend for themselves or are dependent on immediate family members for many of their activities.

Further, five percent of the elderly require home care and health care services for the top five diseases that would need homecare services such as diabetes mellitus, pneumonia, congestive heart failure, hypertension, and chronic lung disease.

With the 1987 Philippine Constitution, Republic Act 9257 2003 (An Act Granting Additional Benefits and Privileges to Senior Citizens), and Section 5 (Substitute family care in the form of residential care/group homes for the abandoned, neglected, unattached or homeless senior citizens and those incapable of self-care), adoption of HCSSSC is being proposed to all the local government units nationwide.

On the same day, the Municipal Federation of Senior Citizens of the Philippines had an orientation about the social pension program for indigent senior citizens.

The social pension program seeks to improve the condition of indigent senior citizens by providing for their needs, reducing the incidence of hunger, protecting them from neglect, abuse, deprivation, and natural and man-made disasters.

Project Officer II Jomar Pescador, Jr., of the Social Welfare and Development-Mountain Province, explained the program’s eligibility criteria.

The senior citizen must be at least 60 years old who is frail, sickly, or with a disability; who has no pension from the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc. or any other insurance company; no permanent source of income; and who has no regular support from family/relatives for his/her basic needs.

The release of the monthly social pension of P500 per beneficiary is every six months or P3,000 per semester. 

A valid government-issued ID/federation ID indicating the date of birth is required in claiming the stipend during payout. – Shannon S. Pagaduan and Alpine K. Malwagay