Region 12 social pensioners validated this week

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/26 May) — The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Region 12 is set to launch this week the special validation for beneficiaries of the national government’s social pension and modified conditional cash transfer programs in the region.

Ashraf Dirampatan, regional field coordinator of the DSWD’s National Household Targeting Unit (NHTU), said Monday they will deploy within the next few days their newly-trained field workers to various parts of the region to set off the special validation or survey.

Also known as Soccsksargen, Region 12 comprises the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong, Kidapawan and Cotabato.

He said that for the field work the agency has hired 29 area supervisors and enumerators who are all armed with “compulsory gears” required or needed for the survey.

“They have not just mastered their designated tasks but we instilled in them the right attitude a field staff must possess,” he said in a statement.

Dirampatan said the enumerators will conduct the “house-to-house” visits and the actual validation using the family assessment form that they prepared.

He said they are only waiting for the master list of the households and individuals that will be covered by the special validation.

The master list will be provided by the DSWD central office through its social pension program database, he said.

Dirampatan said they had assigned their field workers to gather the necessary information on the barangays and communities that will be subjected to the survey.

He said they targeted to complete the activity within the next two days.

The special validation will mainly focus on indigent senior citizens in the region who are covered by the social pension program.

The validation of the pension beneficiaries was mainly based on the provision of the General Appropriations Act for 2014, which cited that only the indigent senior citizens registered in the Listahanan or the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction database should be paid with their social pension or benefits.

Owing to this, the DSWD central office mandated the NHTU to conduct an immediate validation of the social pension beneficiaries in the region and specifically determine whether they are qualified or not to avail of the program.

The social pension program was implemented by the DSWD two years ago based on the provisions of Expanded Senior Citizen’s Act of 2010.

Under the program, qualified beneficiaries will receive a monthly stipend of P500 to help augment their daily subsistence and medical needs.

In Region 12, the agency had identified around 5,000 indigent senior citizens as program beneficiaries. (MindaNews)