5 SouthCot centenarians get recognition, cash incentives

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 3 March) – Five more centenarians in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) have received recognition and cash incentives from the national government, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Cezario Joel Espejo, DSWD-Region 12 director, said Wednesday they released the incentives in separate awarding rites since last week that were held in coordination with concerned local government units (LGU).

He said the latest awardees are all from South Cotabato province, with two each coming from Polomolok and Banga towns, and one from Surallah.

Aside from the P100,000 cash incentive, the centenarians received letters of felicitations that recognized their achievements from President Rodrigo Duterte.

“These elders have given significant contributions to our society and this is the government’s way of appreciating and acknowledging their efforts,” Espejo said in a statement.

Since 2016, he said a total of 565 centenarians in Region 12 have already received government recognition and incentives, which reached P56.5 million.

The region covers the provinces of South Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, Sarangani, North Cotabato and the cities of General Santos, Koronadal, Tacurong and Kidapawan.

Some 314 centenarians received the incentive and felicitation in 2016, 69 in 2017, 73 in 2018, 50 in 2019 and 54 last year, as provided for in Republic Act 10868 or the “Centenarians Act of 2016.”

Under the law, all Filipinos who have reached the age of 100, whether residing in the country or abroad, are entitled to receive a cash incentive of P100,000 from the national government as a “centenarian gift.”

Qualified centenarians are also entitled to additional awards and incentives from their respective LGUs.

Bonifacio Selma, DSWD-12 assistant director, said the initiative is a way of “showing respect” to the centenarians and repaying their contribution to our society.

He urged residents who have family members or relatives that already reached the age of 100 to coordinate with their LGUs and the agency.

Immediate families need to present proof of identification or age of the prospective recipient such as a birth certificate, passport, Office of the Senior Citizen Affairs identification card, marriage certificate, or any document ID that shows their birthday, Selma said.

In the absence of any of these documents, the birth certificate of the centenarian’s children may be presented to establish the age. (MindaNews)