May 26, 2024

The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) has appealed to senior citizens to stay calm but cautious over the proliferation of misinformation spreading over social media that has caused confusion and unnecessary alarm.

NCSC Chair Franklin Quijano issued the advisory to warn the elderly about rumors ranging from the distribution of social pension to indigent seniors to the transfer of functions and duties of senior citizen-related benefits and programs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development to the NCSC.

The NCSC said the most glaring disinformation that some vloggers and trolls do is to copy the logo or even the actual website of the NCSC on their post and share it on various social media platforms to make it appear that it is an official NCSC posting although the text or content of which is fake.

The post, “Senior Citizen (NCSC) RA 11350. All senior citizen pensioner or non-pensioner will receive 1k per month or 3k every 3 months under the NCSC ang Office of the Senior Citizens Affair no longer under DSWD but under NCSC. Register online www.ncsc.gov.ph. The 1k monthly pension will take effect on March 2023,” went viral on Facebook on Feb. 27 much to the surprise and even panic of many senior citizens as the NCSC was flooded with many questions on its veracity.

Quijano said these claims are distorted as he made it clear that the duties and functions related to senior citizens have not been transferred from DSWD to NCSC. He said Republic Act 11916 has mandated that within three years, DSWD will transfer all duties and functions related to seniors to NCSC but not taken effect yet. “While it’s true that RA 11916 mandates the 100 percent increase in the indigent senior citizen’s monthly pension – from P500 to P1,000, it would still have to be funded by the Department of Budget and Management and it could only take effect after the National Treasury have allocated the fund but as of now it is still unfunded,” Quijano said.

At present, only selected indigent senior citizens numbering around 4.1 million out of the total 12.2 million are receiving P500 social pension per month but that will soon be doubled by virtue of RA 11916 after it gets the funding from DBM.

Quijano said the NCSC is throwing its full support to the universal social pension, which is still pending in Congress, so indigent seniors will have to contend with the P500 monthly as of yet. Universal social pension is a proposal stating that all senior citizens, regardless of financial status or economic bracket, shall be entitled to a monthly stipend. – Press release