Starting April 25, a long line of senior citizens (SCs) were seen at the Office of Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) this town. The senior citizens are applying for the social pension to be given by the government to augment their capacity to meet their daily needs. This is effective starting January 2011.

According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) this program was based on the 2006 National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) poverty estimates that almost 1.3M of the 6.3M senior citizens aged 60 years old and above are poor and these SCs come from regions V, VI and VII.

The indigent senior citizen qualified to avail of this stipend as determined by the DSWD National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) are those SCs who are frail, sickly or with disability; without pension or permanent source of income or regular support from relatives.

The targeted SCs are 77 years old and above and the town of Jagna has 103 beneficiaries as identified by the NHTS-PR. This list is still for verification as some have already died.

A pre – identification of beneficiaries was done by the 2010 NHTS-PR data but for those senior citizens not identified and are qualified to avail of the stipend they can apply at the OSCA office subject to the assessment by the OSCA head and the MSWDO. This list will then be submitted to the DSWD for their assessment.

The social pension or stipend of P500 monthly will be released quarterly thru an atm or thru a disbursement officer in the LGU. As of this time, no release has been done yet as data is still for further verification.

The DSWD is the main implementing agency nationwide in coordination with the LGUs, OSCA and Senior Citizens Organizations.