June 14, 2024

The City Social Welfare and Development Office supports senior citizens through various programs and services tailored to their diverse needs. 

Social Welfare Officer III Ellen Dayag said their office under the leadership of OCSWD Officer Liza Bulayungan is committed to enhancing the quality of life and well-being of the city’s elderly beneficiaries currently numbering 6,530 as of 2023. 

She said the office continues to prioritize the welfare of its senior citizens through a holistic approach to social welfare. 

“By focusing on empowerment, collaboration, and community engagement, the city promotes active aging and nurtures a sense of belonging among its elderly population,” Dayag said. 

The office recognizes the importance of empowering seniors to voice their concerns and participate in program planning and implementation, aiming to create a more inclusive and supportive environment. 

Dayag said their programs for senior citizens encompass various services, including social pensions and recreational activities. 

She said since 2010, eligible seniors have been receiving social pensions amounting to P1,000 monthly to support their medical, essential and financial needs. 

She clarified a social pension is given to seniors every month, but the release happens every six months. “This has already increased; it was only P500 before. However, we are hoping to raise it again,” she said. 

To qualify for social pensions, seniors must meet specific criteria, including residency in Baguio City and certification from the Social Security System confirming their status. The application process involves thorough verification to ensure assistance reaches those in genuine need. 

Aside from social pensions, financial assistance is also available for seniors to cover medical expenses. The office ensures eligible seniors are identified and supported through regular dissemination of information during barangay assemblies and meetings. 

Social activities and events are also conducted for senior citizens every quarter such as swimming lessons, arts and crafts activities, and social bingo to engage seniors and mitigate the risk of depression. 

Dayag said collaboration is essential for the success of these programs. 

The CSWDO actively coordinates with organizations like the senior citizens association in the different barangays in the city ensuring that services are tailored to seniors’ needs and preferences. 

This fosters a sense of privilege and empowerment within the community, Dayag said. – Jedidiah Ugto and Aileen Refuerzo