VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Online post on DSWD refusing to disburse pension for propertied seniors NEEDS CONTEXT

A netizen’s post claiming the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) does not give out financial assistance to senior citizens with “big houses” needs context.

Carrying a screengrab of a 2016 Abante report headlined “60-anyos pataas, may P6K sa 2016 (60-year-olds and above to get P6K in 2016),” Facebook page Bamaginansaran A Bangsamoro on May 16 published an open letter asking why some local DSWD offices say senior citizens with “large houses” are not eligible for pensions provided under Republic Act 9994.

The online post, which still continues to be re-shared by netizens, further said the law is “applicable for all (senior citizens)... except those already getting pensions from the Government Services Insurance System, Social Services System or other government agencies.”

RA 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, indeed introduces a provision giving senior citizens a monthly social pension of P500, or P6,000 annually. However, it only applies to indigent senior citizens.

The law defines them as “any elderly who is frail, sickly or with disability, and without pension or permanent source of income, compensation or financial assistance from his/her relatives to support his/her basic needs.”

DSWD issued a statement in 2018 reiterating the above criteria, after several citizens confused the Social Pension Program as being applicable to all senior citizens. For this possibly misleading May 16 post, it is important to note that the law provides that the senior citizen must not already be receiving “income, compensation or financial assistance” from relatives.

The 2018 statement also said that the list of senior citizens -- prospective recipients of the pension -- submitted by the Senior Citizens Affairs Office at LGUs go through two rounds of validation and assessment: first by local social welfare workers and then by the DSWD.

Similar online posts causing confusion since 2017 have also been debunked through fact-checks by Rappler and anti-fake news website Meme Buster.

Bamaginansaran A Bangsamoro’s post resurfaced around the same time Sen. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara filed a bill on July 7 seeking to double the senior citizens’ social pension.

The post needing context could have reached over 5.8 million people, with traffic to the story largely coming from the pages Senator Manny Pacquiao Supporters Worldwide, Tulfo Brothers Worldwide, and DUTERTE ANG BOSES NG MASA.

Bamaginansaran A Bangsamoro was created on June 7, 2015.

FOR FURTHER READING

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Website recycles FAKE report on senior citizen pensions

Filipino senior citizens will not be receiving P6,000 monthly pensions, contrary to one report…

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: FAKE story about Hontiveros filing bill raising senior age to 65 REVIVED

This story is fake. Don't believe it.

VERA FILES FACT CHECK: Senate hopeful Francis Tolentino wrongly implies senior citizens cannot re-enter workforce

There are already laws that allow and promote senior citizens to re-enter the workforce.

About Vera Files

Founded in March 2008, VERA Files is published by veteran Filipino journalists taking a deeper look into current Philippine issues. Vera is Latin for “true.”

Contact Us

Email us at newsroom@verafiles.org

MEMBER