By Filane Mikee Cervantes

National Commission of Senior Citizens chairperson Frank Quijano (Screengrab from PTV4 file photo)

MANILA – The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) on Friday reiterated that more than four million indigent Filipino senior citizens will be entitled to receive the monthly social pension of PHP1,000 this January.

NCSC Chairperson Frank Quijano made the clarification following claims that the distribution of the monthly social pension would cover all senior citizens.

In a Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon briefing over PTV-4, Quijano said indigent senior citizens are those who are frail, sickly or with a disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation, or financial assistance from their relatives to support their basic needs.

Citing the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), he said there are around 4,080,000 indigent senior citizens out of about 12 million senior citizens nationwide.

“Kung wala po kayong retirement at wala kayong regular na suporta, you are entitled to being called an ‘indigent’ senior citizen and therefore pwede pong makatanggap – na dahil sa isang bagong batas naman, 11916, ay from 500 magiging 1,000 na simula ng January (If you don’t have any retirement plan or any regular support, you are entitled to being called an ‘indigent’ citizen, and therefore, you would be able to receive PHP1,000 from the previous PHP500 according to Republic Act 11916),” Quijano said.

Republic Act 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 PHP500 to PHP1,000.

Quijano said the distribution of social pension for the elderly is still being handled by the DSWD pending the transfer of functions to the NCSC within three years as mandated by law.

He, however, already expressed readiness that the NCSC could be part of the distribution process.

“Sumulat pa tayo December last year na tayo ay ready na – sa lahat ng regional offices, pwede nang maging bahagi sa distribution process. Ngunit hinihintay natin ang DSWD na makipag-usap para magkaroon ng actual turnover (We wrote a letter in December last year that we are ready, all our regional offices to be part of the distribution process. We are just waiting for talks with the DSWD regarding the actual turnover),” Quijano said. (PNA)