December 7, 2023

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Department of Social Welfare and Development Cordillera in partnership with the provincial government has started the first semester payout of the Social Pension program in Barangay Alab Proper of the capital town on Aug. 24.
Thirty-one indigent senior citizens received P3,000 at P500 per month from January to June. Some of the recipients who were not able to get their payout for the second semester last year received an additional P3,000.
According to Mountain Province Social Pension Focal Person April D. Mata-ag, the Social Program aims to augment the needs of the senior citizens especially during the community quarantine due to the current pandemic.
She said based on the guidelines in the implementation of the program, recipients must be 60 years old and above; frail, sickly or with a disability; without a regular support from family or relatives for their basic needs; those who do not have a pension from the Government Service Insurance System, Social Security System, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office, Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association, Inc., and other insurance companies; and those with no permanent source of income.
Mountain Province has a total of 9,476 pensioners.
Mata-ag said the DSWD field office is finalizing the schedule for the distribution of the pension to the other recipients province-wide.
The social pension is distributed on a per semester basis as stipulated in Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which provides monthly stipend amount to augment the daily sustenance and medical needs of senior citizens.
Gov. Bonifacio C. Lacwasan, Jr. and Annie B. Palasi of the DSWD led the payoff, witnessed by Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer Miguela P. Angwani, Provincial Information Officer Novy R. Afidchao, Alab Proper barangay officials, and members of the DSWD Mountain Province.
Lacwasan acknowledged the DSWD’s role in developing and implementing poverty-reduction programs to help the vulnerable and the disadvantaged sector.
The governor also recognized the important contributions of the elderly to nation-building and assured that the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office will continue to work with its partner agencies to assure the welfare of the senior citizens.
The provincial government has a senior citizen center that offers support and wellness programs to the elderly. The province also continues to recognize provincial centenarians or persons who reach 100 years or more by giving P30,000 cash incentive to qualified provincial centenarians.
Alab Office of Senior Citizens Affairs chairperson Ruby B. Mangagley said given the benefits that senior citizens receive from the government, they should actively participate in the activities of the elderly in their respective barangays and proudly show that senior citizens can still do much in nation building. – Erwin S. Batnag