The regional office of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-Region 7) verified that there is political influence behind the operations of the provinceâ€™s pension program or financial aid to senior citizens which has caused partiality in its distribution.
Catherine Ladaga, social worker officer II of DSWD-7 Social Pension, admitted through DYRD â€œTagbilaran by Nightâ€ that the program funded by the national government is being used for political gains.
However, she did not elaborate on how politicians in some towns have used their influence in the distribution of the said government financial program.
Ladagaâ€™s disclosure was aired after relatives of supposed beneficiaries, through DYRD, voiced out their complaints of senior citizen family members not receiving their benefits from the said program.
Complainants are from the towns of Dauis, Valencia, San Miguel, and Loay. However, representatives from the said towns were given the explanation that they were notÂ handed out the supposed benefits since they have children who are working as professionals such as seamen, teachers, and other overseas employment.
Ladaga also clarified that the program is specifically for indigent senior citizens who have no money to pay for their basic needs.
Other than being at least 60 years old, the program has qualifications which include not having pension from the Government Service Insurance System, Philippine Veterans Affairs Office and other private pension insurance.
Beneficiaries should also not have compensation and monetary support from their children or other relatives.
Those qualified to be under the program which includes construction workers, vendors, and house helps are assessed by the Social Worker Assessment of LGUs which coordinate with officialsÂ of federations in towns.
The regional DSWD only has three officials that oversee the Social Worker Officer in 47 townsÂ of the province.
Ladaga said that senior citizens should also be accurate in their declarations once they are accepted into the programs. (with reports from Rey Tutas)