House Appropriations Committee Chair Davao Rep. Karlo “Ang Probinsyano” Nograles said his panel is committed to increase the funding for the Social Pension Program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to expand the present coverage of the government’s pension system for indigent senior citizens so that “more of our lolos and lolas in the provinces can be given a helping hand by a grateful and compassionate government.”

“Our senior citizens deserve a special place in our society.”

“This pension is a huge help to the daily lives of elderly indigents, and I believe that we really need to expand the coverage of our pension program. Our senior citizens deserve a special place in our society. They have done their share and raised one, sometimes even two generations of our countrymen. By the time they hit their sixties, our lolos and lolas have needs, and this pension can help them meet their needs,” Nograles said.

“By the time they (senior citizens) hit their sixties, our lolos and lolas have needs, and this pension can help them meet their needs.

The pension worth 500 pesos monthly is provided under Republic Act (RA) No.9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

But due to shortage of funds, only senior citizens who are aged 70 and above are allowed to avail of the social pension program (SPP).

Nograles said that this has to change as he noted that the expansion of the social pension program should cover those 60 years old and above. As head of the appropriations committee, Nograles said that he would work doubly hard to allocate more funds for the SPP in the 2019 budget.

According to the DSWD, some 2.8 million indigent senior citizens benefited from the Social Pension Program last year from a budget of 17.1 billion pesos.

For 2018, the target beneficiaries were raised to three million indigent senior citizens thanks to an increased budget of 19.2 billion pesos.

The pension is supposed to be given to seniors who are 60 years old and above and are frail, sickly or have disabilities. The recipients must not be the recipient of any other pension from government agencies and must lack a permanent source of income or source of financial assistance and compensation to support their basic needs.

“With the House deliberations for the 2019 national budget coming soon, I will personally see to it that the allocation for the Social Pension Program for senior citizens is significantly increased so that it could cover more of our senior probinsyanos,” said Nograles.

“Gusto natin maging kumportable ang buhay ng mga lolo at lola natin, lalo na ang mga nakatira sa probinsya” added the solon.

President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to submit to Congress the proposed 2019 National Expenditure Program (NEP) later this month. The NEP will be made the basis of the House budget deliberations, which will commence in August.



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