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FACT CHECK: Social pension for indigent senior citizens raised to P1,000, not P20,000


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FACT CHECK: Social pension for indigent senior citizens raised to P1,000, not P20,000
Several false posts about the social pension for indigent senior citizens have been circulating on social media. According to the law, eligible beneficiaries should receive P1,000.

Claim: All senior citizens will automatically receive a P20,000 monthly social pension from the government.


Why we fact-checked this: The claim was made in the title and thumbnail of a YouTube video posted on February 24 by a channel with 47,100 subscribers. As of writing, the video has 131,304 views, 4,700 likes, and 1,962 comments.

The video’s title reads: “Attention senior citizen! 20,000 pesos automatic basta ikaw ay nasa 60 year old pataas wala pipilin.

(Attention, senior citizens! You will automatically receive P20,000 as long as you are 60 years old or older.)

The facts: The Philippine government has a social pension program for senior citizens, but only indigent seniors are eligible, contrary to what the video claims. The assistance provided is P1,000 monthly, not P20,000.

The video does not provide any concrete evidence to support its claim. Instead, the video features an interview with United Senior Citizen Representative Milagros Magsaysay on February 10, 2024, talking about the senior citizens who are on the waiting list for the social pension program. In the interview, Magsaysay mentions that the P500 monthly allowance of pensioners was raised to P1,000. There’s no mention of a P20,000 monthly stipend in the video.

Pension for indigent seniors: Republic Act. No. 11916, or the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens Act, which lapsed into law on July 30, 2022, doubled the social pension for indigent senior citizens from P500 to P1,000.

Senator Joel Villanueva, the principal sponsor of the Increased Social Pension of Indigent Senior Citizens Law, said that the COVID-19 crisis highlighted the need to increase the social pension of indigent senior citizens.

National budget fund: The 2024 General Appropriations Act provided P49.81 billion to increase funds allotted for the stipends of indigent Filipino senior citizens nationwide. 

“The budget for social pension for indigent senior citizens will be doubled to P49.81 billion to cover the increased government monthly allowance of P1,000 for more than 4 million indigent senior citizens who are not part of the pension system,” Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Secretary Amenah F. Pangandaman said in a press release in August 2023. 

In addition, the distribution of the increased social pension for the first half of the year began in February. 

Eligibility criteria: A senior citizen must meet the following requirements to be eligible for the social pension program: 

  • Must be 60 years old and above
  • Frail, sickly, or with disability
  • Does not have any regular source of income or financial assistance from relatives to support basic needs
  • Is not receiving any other form of financial assistance from the government

Rappler has already debunked false claims on cash grants for senior citizens:

– Rappler.com

This fact check was written by a group of students under the Social Media and Dynamics class of Professor Patrick Ernest Celso from the University of Santo Tomas. It was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. 

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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