May 5, 2011

Distribution of Stipend for Social Pensioner: a Fact

Rationale:
There are estimated 6.3 million elderly Filipinos aged 60 years old and above as of CY
2010 based on the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NSCB) Medium Assumption Population Projection. Older persons comprise a little over six percent of the total population, but this proportion is expected to be higher than 10 percent by 2020 as the number of older person’s doubles by that time
(NEDA, Philippines Population Projection 1980-2030). Based on the National Statistical Coordinating Board (NCSB 2006) poverty estimates of the basic sectors, the magnitude of poor senior citizen is1, 297,159 and it posted the second largest percentage points of 1.9% increase next to the children sector. The Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao posted the highest poverty incidence of senior citizen which is at 46.5% and the most number of poor senior citizens are from Regions V, VI and VII (NCSB 2006).

The numbers of elderly poor in developing countries is increasing and older people are over-represented among chronically poor people. Two-thirds of older people receive no regular income and 100 million live on less than US$ 1 a day. Regular cash transfers also increase poor older people’s access to services, particularly health care. As older people live and share resources with younger family members, social pensions have a substantial impact on child wellbeing and the achievement of millennium Development Goals 1-6. Social pensions contribute to increased school attendance and better nutrition among children. They can play an important role in breaking intergenerational poverty cycles (Help Age 2009).
The Philippines has made great strides in promoting the welfare of its people and has ensured the continued participation in development by legislating national policies in response to the emerging needs of the Filipino senior citizens. Republic Act No. 9994 or the “expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010”, which provide additional benefits and privileges and maximize their participation in nation-building amended the previous RA 9257 “ Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2003”,institutionalizes social protection by providing monthly stipend to indigent senior citizens and supports the family to provide care to their sick and disabled senior citizens. This is designed in such a way that the poorest senior citizens are covered and protected from loss of income and unemployment as a result of illness, injury, disability, harvest failure, etc. ( ADB2006).
The Social Pension for Indigent Filipino senior citizen is in-line with the fulfillment of the obligation of the government to protect the most vulnerable sector through social protection, and for the full implementation of the Republic Act No. 9994. In order to implement the Social pension in the grassroots level we need to equip the Provincial, City, and Municipal Social Workers as well as the OSCA heads and the DSWD SWAD teams of knowledge of the implementing Operational procedures, Institutional arrangements and Financial Management of the Social pension for indigent Senior citizens.

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