Seniors without pensions to get government aid

Published by rudy Date posted on July 2, 2009

MANILA, Philippines – Senior citizens above 70 years not receiving any pension are set to get a P500 monthly stipend from the national government.

Secretary Esperanza Cabral said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has submitted for President Arroyo’s approval a P7.9-billion Social Pension for Older Persons program.

“It will cover only persons who are 70 years old and above, poor and not members of any pension plan like those under the GSIS (Government Service Insurance System), SSS (Social Security System) or other retirement or pension plans,” she said.

Cabral said the DSWD has submitted to the Department of Budget and Management a proposed P25 billion budget for next year, up by 142.27 percent from this year’s P10.6 billion.

The DSWD has completed the implementation of the “Katas ng VAT: Tulong Para kay Lolo at Lola” project, benefiting nearly 400,000 senior citizens nationwide, she added.

Meanwhile, Cabral said the DSWD has prepared a package of after-care services for elderly inmates.

These include provision of transitory cash or temporary cash assistance, employment, livelihood, and educational assistance, she added.

Cabral said the DSWD will also provide psycho-social intervention and other social services. “We have requested P30 million in our 2010 budget proposal to help an estimated 3,000 released prisoners for that year.”

Cabral said released prisoners needing immediate financial assistance for basic needs shall be provided with P1,500 per month for up to three months.

“Likewise, released prisoners who want to engage in livelihood ventures will be provided with skills training and capital assistance, not exceeding P5,000 utilizing the DSWD’s Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran (SEA-K) program,” she said.

Cabral said released prisoners who want to return to school shall be referred to the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education, Technical Education and Skills Development. –Philippine Star

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