July 13, 2024

About P49.81 billion included in the proposed P5.768 trillion national budget for 2024 will be used to fund the social pension of indigent senior citizens in the country.

The proposed allocation is double the P25.3B in the 2023 General Appropriations Act (GAA), Budget Sec. Amenah Pangandaman said.

“The budget for social pension for indigent senior citizens will be doubled to P49.81B to cover the increased government monthly allowance of P1,000 for more than four million indigent senior citizens who are not part of the pension system,” Pangandaman said.

Launched through Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPIC) Program provides a monthly stipend of P500 to indigent senior citizens.

The social pension is an additional government assistance to augment the daily expenses and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens who are frail, sickly or with a disability; with no regular income or support from family and relatives; and without pension from private or government institutions.

RA 11916 or the Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act, which lapsed into law on July 30, 2022, doubles the monthly pension for each indigent senior indigent from P500 to P1,000.

About 4.1 million indigent senior citizens are entitled to receive P12,000 each as their social pension this year under the P5.268T national budget.

The proposed budget for the SPIC Program is part of the allocations for the social services sector, which will get P2.183T or 37.9 percent of the proposed 2024 National Expenditure Program.

The spending priorities in the national budget are the starting point of the Marcos administration’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda.

The government’s eight-point socioeconomic agenda aims to help address inflation by protecting the purchasing power of families and consumers, as well as to mitigate the socioeconomic scarring brought by the pandemic. – PNA