P 23 Billion has been allocated in the proposed 2019 National Budget to finance the Social Pension Program for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC). This is an increase of almost P 4 Billion, or 20%, from the previous year’s appropriation of P19 Billion.
The program is seen to benefit a total of 3,796,791 indigent senior citizens in 2019.
The SPISC is the additional government assistance in the amount of P500 monthly stipend, to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens. This program is part of the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 or RA 9994.
The Social Pension for indigent senior citizens is being implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) through its 18 field offices, in partnership with Local Government Units (LGUs). The LGUs submit the list of indigent senior citizens to the DSWD field office based on the validation of the City/Municipal Social Welfare Development Office.
Senior citizens are determined as qualified indigents using the criteria for the social pension program, namely: (1) 60 years old and above, (2) Not receiving pension from SSS or GSIS, etc., (3) No assistance from his/her relatives to support their basic needs, and/or (4) Frail, sickly, or with disability.