DSWD to hire 1,200 new staff for aid programs
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will hire and train 1,245 new employees to conduct the special validation of aid recipients.
The new staff will assist beneficiaries of DSWD’s Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens and the Modified Conditional Cash Transfer (MCCT) Program.
The new DSWD staff will be assigned as area coordinators, supervisors, enumerators, and encoders.
Some will be tasked to validate the status of the Social Pension beneficiaries who are not included in the Listahanan database.
DSWD Field Offices will start the recruitment and screening process in April 2014.
Applicants can submit their application to any DSWD office or to the Social Welfare and Development Team office.
The Social Pension program grants beneficiaries a P500 monthly stipend. It is implemented as part of the Expanded Senior Citizen's Act of 2010 and prioritizes those who are:
- 77 years old and above
- sickly, weak, or disabled
- without a regular source of income or support from the family
- not receiving other pension benefits from the government or private agencies
This year, DSWD plans to lower the age requirement from 77 to 70 years old.
"For the Social Pension, the purpose of the special validation is to verify the poverty status of its current recipients and ensure that only the poor senior citizens will continue receiving benefits," DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said.
Meanwhile, the MCCT Program provides cash to street families, displaced families, nomadic indigenous peoples (IPs), and to those living in isolated and disadvantaged areas on the condition that they send their children to school and regular health check-ups.
DSWD plans to include around 63,000 families in the MCCT. (READ: DSWD milestones)
The department uses the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTSPR), dubbed as Listahanan, in identifying its beneficiaries.
More than a million senior citizens belong to poor households, according to the latest report by DSWD in 2011.
Most of them are found in Caraga, Region I (Ilocos Region), Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), Region IX (Zamboanga Peninsula), and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR).
Senior citizens are one of the most disadvantaged sectors in Philippine society.
At age 60 and above, the elderly are more vulnerable not only to health risks, but also to different levels of abuse and neglect from their immediate families and from society.
Instead of retiring, many senior citizens opt to continue working despite their worsening ills.
Some households still assign the eldest member of the family as their sole breadwinner. As a result, grandparents are given the double burden of taking care of both their adult children and young grandchildren.
Since their employment opportunities are very limited, most indigent senior citizens end up either doing labor-extensive jobs or begging in the streets.
Their meager earnings must then cover the entire family’s needs, including food.
Representative Winston Castelo of the 2nd district of Quezon City filed a bill which seeks to increase the monthly DSWD pension to P1,000 and to expand the age coverage.
The pension is for those who are not covered by the Government Service Insurance System, the Social Security System, or any insurance companies – such as those from the informal sector. – Rappler.com