VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Aid worth P3k ONLY FOR INDIGENT senior citizens

A YouTube video that republished a legitimate news report misleads viewers by claiming in its headline the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is handing out financial aid of over P3,000 to senior citizens amid the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon.

The amount is being distributed only to indigent senior citizens, which comes from a six-month advance of their social pension. DSWD is also handing out the social pension of indigent elderly who did not receive part of their social pension from 2019. The announcement was made by Senior Citizens Party-list Rep. Francisco Datol Jr., according to several news articles.

Republic Act 9994 or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010, which mandates a 500-peso monthly social pension for indigent seniors, defines an “indigent senior citizen” as “any elderly who is frail, sickly or with disability,” and who is not receiving any pension or has no “permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance.”

YouTube channel Mau13 made the inaccurate claim on April 16 when it uploaded a video titled, “SENIOR CITIZENS, TATANGGAP NG 3,000+ MULA SA DSWD (Senior citizens to receive 3,000+ from DSWD).”

The first two minutes featured three paragraphs from an ABS-CBN report that day, paraphrased and translated in Filipino. The remaining 19 minutes showed a pirated copy of an April 15 DZMM TeleRadyo interview of broadcaster Ted Failon with Datol.

In the segment, Datol explained that the aid came after he wrote Pres. Rodrigo Duterte in March to advance six months’ worth of social pension for the 9.7 million indigent seniors in the country as aid during the community quarantine in Luzon. He also asked Duterte to release the undistributed social pension of some 3.7 million elderly from last year.

The DSWD has already started giving out the financial aid, according to news reports on April 19.

To date, Mau13’s misleading video has over 144,000 views on YouTube. It could have reached over 4.8 million people on Facebook, with traffic to the inaccurate post largely coming from FB groups Senior Citizens Association Philippines, Inc. (SCAPI), dole 5k financial assistance, and Taga LIPA ka kung….

Mau13’s channel was created on Sept. 7, 2009.

(Editor's Note: VERA Files has partnered with Facebook to fight the spread of disinformation. Find out more about this partnership and our methodology.)

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