June 03, 2019 – With an eye towards helping the poor and marginalized senior citizens in the region, the Department of Social Welfare and Development Field Office 02 (DSWD FO2) conducted a validation of the beneficiaries of the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens from April to May of this year.

The said move is in accordance with the mandate of the agency to ensure that the list of beneficiaries for the above-mentioned program are those that meet the qualifications mandated under Republic Act No. 9994 or Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

Under the said law, an elderly who is 60 years old and above is qualified to receive the assistance if he/she is sickly, frail or with disability, without financial assistance or permanent source of income to support his/her daily subsistence and basic medical needs and without any pension from other government or private institutions.

The on-going validation of Social Pension beneficiaries was permitted after the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) granted the petition of the DSWD, in a special En Banc session last March 29, 2019, to acknowledge the routine and normal expenses of the agency in order for the latter to continue implementing its programs and services targeting the poor and disadvantaged sectors during the election period.

DSWD Secretary Rolando Joselito Bautista led the call for validation as part of the agency’s priorities for the year, stating it as one of his priorities to be able to help the poorest sectors of society.

The validation in the region started last April 27, 2019 with the validation papers encoded for data filing which is targeted for completion by June 2019.

Staff from the field office, field workers as well as encoders hired for the endeavor worked long days that also included weekends and even traversed far-flung areas to be able to reach and validate all the beneficiaries.

The quarterly payout of beneficiaries shall resume after the endeavor. Also starting this year, the quarterly scheme for payouts shall be changed to per semester.

The field office is validating 218,659 program beneficiaries in the region across the provinces of Batanes (1,444), Cagayan (77,281), Isabela (101,753), Quirino (13,138) and Nueva Vizcaya (25,043). ###