Over 3,000 senior citizens added to Taguig City’s pension program

THE Department of Social Welfare and Development granted Taguig an additional 3,828 beneficiary slots for the government’s social-pension program, as a result of the city’s efficient 88-percent rate of distribution of social pensions for elderly persons in the third quarter of 2016.

Ramonita Jordan, head of the Office for Senior Citizen Affairs (Osca), said this meant the total beneficiaries of the city now number 8,071, or a jump of 90 percent from last year’s 4,243.

“We are very pleased with this opportunity, because more Taguigeño senior citizens will benefit from the social-pension program,” Jordan said.

The P1,500 social pension is given quarterly in cash to beneficiaries. Indigent senior citizens are gathered depending on their barangays for the distribution. For the first quarter of 2017, the social-pension distribution would run for seven days, from April 3 to April 5, at the Ususan Covered Court;  April 6 and April 7 at the North Signal Plaza 7;  and April 10 and April 11 at the Taguig Lakeshore Hall.

Pensioners are required to bring their senior citizen ID card and a signed photocopy of the said ID card. Authorized representatives should bring an authorization letter, the senior citizen card of the beneficiary, a valid ID card and a photo of the senior citizen holding a newspaper dated before the scheduled payout.

The recipients are indigent senior citizens of the city who have documents that  prove they are not receiving any pension from other government agencies, like the Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

Jordan said the monetary assistance from the government has been a huge help to the elderly, who are mostly widows whose children already have their own families to take care of.

Asked how her office was able to attain a high efficiency rating for the distribution of the social pension, Jordan said strictly adhering to DSWD rules was the key.

She said her office places a premium on the comfort of the city’s elderly indigents when they come to receive their pension.

During the distribution of social pension, Jordan said snacks and beverages are given to the beneficiaries to make sure they feel comfortable and well-cared for. Apart from their pension, elderly indigents in Taguig receive birthday cash gifts amounting to P1,500. For the past three years, resident centenarians have been receiving P100,000 annually.

The city also conducts house-to-house delivery of free maintenance medicines for diabetes, high blood and asthma. The elderly is among the top priorities for the TLC Home Care Service, a program the city pioneered in 2015 to provide free nursing services to residents in the comfort of their homes. Senior citizens can also avail themselves of free eye checkups and prescription glasses under the Oplan Linaw program.

It’s not all about physical welfare, however. The city also wants its senior citizens to enjoy leisure activities. Thus, they can also avail themselves and enjoy free movies every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at movie houses located in the city.

The city government also plans to build a five-story building with a park that will serve as a recreational area for its elderly citizens.