Fact check - gov't services/laws

MISSING CONTEXT: Senior citizens entitled to P6,000 yearly from DSWD


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MISSING CONTEXT: Senior citizens entitled to P6,000 yearly from DSWD
Only indigent senior citizens are eligible for the DSWD's social pension
At a glance:
  • Claim: Senior citizens aged 60 and above are entitled to social pension worth P6,000 every year from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
  • The facts: Only indigent senior citizens are eligible for a monthly stipend of P500, or P6,000 per year, from the DSWD.
  • Why we fact-checked this: Facebook’s monitoring tool flagged the post containing this claim for verification. It had over 776,000 shares, 83,000 reactions, and 58 comments as of writing.
Complete details:

A Facebook post claimed that senior citizens, or those aged 60 and above, are entitled to receive social pension from the DSWD worth P6,000 annually.

Facebook user Lorna Laguartilla posted a screenshot of a post from Facebook page “President Rodrigo Duterte” (not the verified page of the Philippine President) about the social pension offered by the DSWD. Laguartilla then captioned it, “SA LAHAT PO NG MAY MGA MAGULANG PA 60 YRS OLD PATAAS. PKBSA PO ITO!” (To all those who have parents aged 60 years old and above, please read this!)

This lacks context. The social pension offered by the DSWD does not cover all citizens aged 60 and above, but only applies to indigent senior citizens. It is worth P500 per month, or P6,000 per year, which is meant to augment the daily subsistence and other medical needs of indigent senior citizens.

Republic Act No. 9994, or the Expanded Senior Citizens Act, says an indigent senior citizen is an “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.”

The law also says indigent senior citizens are determined by the DSWD, in consultation with the National Coordinating and Monitoring Board.

The screenshot posted by Laguartilla mentioned that the program is for indigent senior citizens, but this was not translated into her caption. There were also Facebook users who were misled into thinking that the program is for all senior citizens, as shown in the comments section.

The claim with missing context was posted back in July 2016, but it is still garnering engagements and being shared on Facebook as of March 2021.

Claim Check, Facebook’s monitoring tool that identifies suspicious posts shared on the platform, flagged the post for fact-checking. The post had over 776,000 shares, 83,000 reactions, and 58 comments as of writing.

Rappler has fact-checked other claims involving government services, such as the supposed P10,000 financial aid to every Filipino affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the Department of Education’s giveaway of gadgets to students. These are also not true. – Pauline Macaraeg/Rappler.com

Keep us aware of suspicious Facebook pages, groups, accounts, websites, articles, or photos in your network by contacting us at factcheck@rappler.com. Let us battle disinformation one Fact Check at a time.

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