First Lady and DSWD Secretary Lead Social Pension Payout for Senior Citizens

HELP FOR THE ELDERLY First lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos leads the ceremonial kickoff of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s social pension payout to indigent senior citizens at the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. Behind the first lady are DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian (center) and other officials. PHOTO BY ISMAEL DE JUAN
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First Lady Marie Louise “Liza” Araneta-Marcos, along with Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Rexlon “Rex” Gatchalian, recently spearheaded the ceremonial payout of the increased social pension for impoverished senior citizens. The event took place at the DSWD Central Office in Batasan, Quezon City, where the initial batch of indigent seniors from Quezon City received their payouts. This marked a significant milestone as it coincided with the DSWD’s 73rd founding anniversary.

Secretary Gatchalian emphasized that the social pension payout for elderly citizens is a gesture by the Marcos administration to recognize the valuable contributions that senior citizens make to their families and society as a whole. He acknowledged the perseverance of many elderly individuals who, despite their age, continue to work hard to provide for their families. Additionally, he highlighted the important role that many seniors play in raising their grandchildren while their own children are occupied with work.

“These are the stories of sacrifices that we want to honor today,” Secretary Gatchalian expressed in Filipino, emphasizing the significance of recognizing and appreciating the efforts and sacrifices made by senior citizens.

Furthermore, Secretary Gatchalian expressed his gratitude to President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Marcos for prioritizing the welfare of senior citizens as part of the current administration’s Bagong Pilipinas initiatives. He assured the elderly citizens that they are a top priority in the vision of a “Bagong Pilipinas” and that they will never be left behind.

During the ceremony, First Lady Liza Marcos and Secretary Gatchalian personally distributed social pensions to 250 impoverished senior citizens from various villages in Quezon City for the first semester of 2024. Each beneficiary received a total payout of P6,000.

The increase in social pension is made possible by Republic Act 11916, also known as “Act Increasing the Social Pension of Indigent Senior Citizens.” Enacted into law in July 2022, this act offers a 100 percent increase in the monthly pensions of impoverished seniors, raising it from P500 to P1,000. The purpose of this increase is to help the vulnerable sector cope with the effects of rising prices and ensure their well-being.

Secretary Gatchalian emphasized that the P1,000 monthly pension is just the beginning of a series of programs that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and First Lady Liza Marcos are considering and implementing to further demonstrate their care and support for the elderly population.

The social pension for senior citizens is paid on a semestral basis, with a total payout of P6,000 for the year. This financial assistance aims to assist eligible beneficiaries in meeting their daily nutritional needs and other health-related expenses.

In the year 2024, the social pension program is expected to cover 4,085,066 underprivileged senior citizens. This initiative reflects the government’s commitment to uplifting the lives of the elderly and ensuring their well-being in the face of economic challenges.

The ceremonial payout of the higher social pension for senior citizens signifies the government’s recognition of the valuable contributions made by the elderly and their essential role in society. It serves as a testament to the administration’s dedication to creating a more inclusive and caring society, where the welfare of senior citizens is a top priority.

Source: The Manila Times

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