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8,449 indigent elderly in ZamPen receive social pension from DSWD

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PAGADIAN CITY - Some 8,449 indigent senior citizens in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula (ZamPen) have already received their P500 monthly stipend from the Department of Social Services and Development (DSWD) for the first quarter of 2011.

DSWD-9, focal person for the social pension program Ms. Evelyn Lingatong said, there are still 3,688 potential beneficiaries to be located and validated in the region, and have not yet receive their monthly stipend.

Lingatong said, based on the data gathered through the National Household Targetting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) conducted by the DSWD early last year and subsequently validated by the local government units (LGUs), there are 12,137 indigent seniors in the entire peninsula.

As of the first three months of this year, the DSWD has disbursed the total amount of P9,231,000 for the 8,449 senior citizen beneficiaries at P500 monthly stipend to augment their minimal necessities such as food and medicines. The amount is being released through the LGU in a quarterly basis, Lingatong said.

Meanwhile, DSWD-9 Regional Director Teodulo Romo, Jr. instructed his staff to double its efforts in locating and validating the remaining number of seniors. The Pantawid Pamilya city and municipal links were also instructed to assist the LGUs to fast track the validation and disbursement.

"We have to be mindful of the needs of the elderly beneficiaries, taking into consideration their age. We cannot afford to delay and deprive of what is entitled of them," emphasized Dir. Romo.

The social pension program of the government has started its implementation this year, and is subject for congressional review after every two years, Romo concluded. (PIA9/Zambo Sur/BST)

By Claro A. Lanipa




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