By Bohol Island News Staff | 11:39 PM October 4, 2019
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) reiterated on Friday that beneficiaries of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens who are sickly, frail, fragile, and with disability are not required to personally claim their stipend during payout to avoid untoward incidents that may be detrimental to their well-being.
The guideline came days after an 83-year-old man in Catigbian died during a payout last September 26.
According to the DSWD Omnibus Guidelines in the Implementation of the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens, the nearest relatives of the beneficiaries can claim the stipend provided that they bring with them an authorization letter from the social pensioner and their identification cards as authorized representatives during the payout.
Aside from the actual payout, the stipend can also be given to the social pensioners through door-to-door delivery scheme.
Mario Jumawid, 83, who is a native of Barangay Cambailan in Catigbian town in Bohol, collapsed while awaiting for his P3,000 Social Pension stipend for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) at the Catigbian Cultural and Sports Center last September 26.
Jumawid, was among the more than 2,000 senior citizens from the 22 barangays of Catigbian entitled to a monthly stipend of P1,000.00.
He was rushed to the nearby Catigbian District Hospital but was declared dead on arrival (DOA) at the Catigbian District Hospital.
Senior citizens including Jumawid were at the town’s cultural center as early as 8 a.m. eagerly anticipating the arrival of the team from the DSWD Regional Office who came in at 10 AM, a few minutes after Jumawid was rushed to the hospital.
Republic Act no. 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” provides additional government assistance through the SPISC, a monthly stipend to augment their daily subsistence and medical needs.
Eligible for the stipend is the senior citizen who is frail, sickly and disabled, no pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefit Association (AFPMBAI) or any other insurance company.
Senior citizens with no permanent source of income and no regular support from family or relatives for his/her needs are also eligible to avail of the stipend.
The Department, through Field Office VII, expressed its condolences to the bereaved family and is already coordinating with the local government unit (LGU) for the provision of appropriate assistance.
The Department pointed out that before a payout is conducted, concerned DSWD-Field Office coordinates with the host LGU for necessary preparations such as the provision of well-ventilated venue that can protect the senior citizens from heat and rain; availability of seats and drinking water for all beneficiaries; presence of police officer/tanod for security, peace and order; and presence of medical staff and ambulance in case of emergencies.
DSWD recognized that working closely with LGUs will lead to the efficient implementation of the Social Pension program, it added.