A bill seeking to increase the social pension for indigent senior citizens lapsed into law on July 30, 2022. Cagayan de Oro 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, one of the principal authors of the law in Congress, said that Republic Act 11916 mandates the increase of the monthly social pension of indigent senior citizens from P500 to P1,000.
It likewise provides for social safety assistance to senior citizens in times of calamities, which includes food, medicines, home repair assistance, among others, chargeable to the calamity funds of the local government units (LGUs).
“We welcome this good news that will benefit our indigent senior citizens, especially from Cagayan de Oro City. The increase of their social pension from P500 to P1,000 per month will go a long way amidst the high prices of basic commodities due to inflation,” Rodriguez said.
“Because of lockdowns and mobility challenges in many parts of the country in the past years, many businesses struggled that resulted in the loss of jobs for many Filipinos, including senior citizens who are still productive members of society,” he stressed.
Under the new law, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is required to adjust the amount of the social pension every two years in view of the present Consumer Price Index (CPI) and other relevant economic indicators. Within three years of its effectivity, the DSWD is directed to transfer management, distribution, and implementation of the social pension to the National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC).
It also provides for various pay-out options including cash, electronic transfer, or other modes of delivery that would make it more accessible to senior citizens. Furthermore, no transaction fee will be shouldered by the beneficiaries.
According to the latest data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there were 12,336,355 Filipinos aged 60 years old and above as of May 2020. It is estimated that 4.1 million of whom are indigent seniors in separate data from the DSWD.