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PIA Press Release

DSWD to release additional P12-M for elderly

Iloilo City (2 October) -- The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will release P12,616,000 more for senior citizens in Western Visayas under the government's "Katas ng VAT-Tulong Para kay Lolo at Lola" program.

DSWD Field Office VI Regional Director Teresita S. Rosales said this is President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's program of providing one-time cash subsidy to senior citizens. "With this additional funding, we shall be reaching out to those who were not able to receive the subsidy before," said Rosales.

The amount will benefit a total of 25,232 senior citizens in Western Visayas at P500 each. So far, a total of 14 municipalities in the region have submitted project proposals to DSWD.

"We are actually awaiting proposals from local government units so we can disburse the subsidy to the senior citizens," added Rosales.

Municipalities which have submitted proposals so far are Pontevedra, Cuartero, Panay and Maayon in Capiz province; Mina, Tubungan, Tigbauan and Igbaras in Iloilo; Tibiao and San Jose in Antique province; Sibunag and Nueva Valencia in Guimaras; and Cauayan and Hinobaan in Negros Occidental.

Previously, DSWD released P34, 664,500.00 to the difference provinces and cities in the region for the Katas ng VAT-Tulong para kay Lolo at Lola, benefiting 69,329 senior citizens.

The program is implemented nationwide by the DSWD in coordination with LGUs and the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA).

Beneficiaries must be 70 years old and above, dependent or belonging to a family whose income is within or below the poverty threshold, and are not covered by any and/or government agency retirement benefits such as Social Security System, Government Service Insurance System, or Philippine Veterans Affairs Office.

During a press conference called recently by DSWD, Rosales also reported the gains achieved by other programs of their Department designed to alleviate poverty as well as enable Filipinos to enjoy the fruits of economic reforms and avail of basic social services adopted by President Arroyo especially amidst the global economic meltdown.

DSWD has already distributed P82.2 million worth of cash grants under the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) that have so far benefited 16,910 households. It has also implemented a total of P721.3 million worth of projects under KALAHI-CIDSS (Kapit-Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan-Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services). The latter is the flagship poverty alleviation project of DSWD.

President Arroyo has ordered the expansion of KALAHI-CIDSS to cover more towns in the country as a manifestation of her resolve to fight poverty. The project is presently being pursued in 186 towns in 42 provinces.

Discussions of proposals for additional funding $104 million from World Bank and $140 million from the Millennium Challenge Corporation are ongoing. (DSWD/PIA 6) [top]

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