Are you a senior citizen, or perhaps there’s a senior citizen in your family who needs financial help? One of the things that you can apply for is the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) program, which is implemented by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).
In this article, we will focus on SPISC, its target beneficiaries, requirements, and the procedures involved. Please note that this social pension is just one among several financial assistance programs offered by the DSWD to Filipinos in need.
What is DSWD Senior Citizen Assistance?
DSWD’s “senior citizen assistance” is more formally known as the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) program. It seeks to provide financial aid to the elderly with regard to their medical needs and day-to-day expenses.
The SPISC program was introduced as part of Republic Act 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.” Since 2011, it has been implemented by the DSWD through its Field Offices (FOs) across the Philippines.
Benefits of the Program
Through the SPISC program, beneficiaries are entitled to received PHP 500 per month, to be given every six months, for a total of PHP 3,000 every semester.
Notably, based on DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 16, Series of 2021 — starting 2022, DSWD shall give the monthly stipend of pensioners every three months (quarterly), so that each pensioner would receive PHP 1,500 every payout.
Moreover, according to Republic Act 11916 or the “Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act” — which lapsed into law last July 30, 2022 — the monthly stipend for beneficiaries of the SPISC program shall increase from PHP 500 to PHP 1,000. The increase is expected to have a greater impact on the lives of program beneficiaries.
Qualifications to Join the Program
Who are eligible or qualified to join the SPISC program? It applies to Filipinos who are 60 years old and above (senior citizens) who are:
- Frail, sickly, or with disability;
- Without pension from government or private institutions;
- Without a permanent source of income; or
- Without regular support from family or relatives for his/her basic needs.
NOTE: Eligible beneficiaries are those who do not receive any pension from the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO), Armed Forces and Police Mutual Benefits Association, Inc. (AFPMBAI), or other institutions.
Requirements to Join the Program
To join the SPISC program, applicants need to prepare the following documentary requirements:
- Duly accomplished Application Form with 1×1 picture;
- Birth Certificate or any document showing the date of birth; and
- Office for Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) ID.
NOTE: If you do not have an OSCA ID, you can present any other valid ID that is issued by the government or by a federation/association.
DSWD Application Form for Social Pension
Below is a copy of the application form or “General Intake Sheet,” which is a requirement for joining the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) program. Through this form, you’ll need to provide some information regarding your family and other personal details.
Under “identifying information,” you’ll need to state your full name, gender, date of birth, address, education attainment, affiliation (if any), and ID numbers (e.g. OSCA, PhilHealth, GSIS, SSS, TIN, etc.). Meanwhile, under “family,” you need to provide the name, age, status, and occupation of your family members.
Aside from the above, you will be asked to describe your economic status and health condition. The form also includes a space for “assessment,” to be accomplished by DSWD staff.
How to Process DSWD Senior Citizen Assistance
Once you have gathered all the above documents, submit these to the City/Municipal Social Welfare Development Office (C/MSWDO) or to the nearest DSWD Field Office in your area. Your documents will undergo assessment before the confirmation or approval of your application.
DSWD Infographic Guide About SPISC Program
Here is an infographic guide created by the DSWD, providing instructions (in Filipino) about how applicants can join the SPISC program.
How to Get Pension Through a Representative
Once you have been approved for the SPISC program… great! You can now wait for the announcement from the C/MSWDO regarding the schedule of payouts.
However, what if you are unable to claim your stipend because you are sick or physically unable to do so? Don’t worry because you can still obtain your pension through a representative, provided that he/she submits:
- Original and photocopy of representative’s valid ID;
- Valid ID of program beneficiary; and
- Letter from beneficiary authorizing the representative to claim the pension, while stating the reason why he/she cannot claim it personally.
Video: Senior Citizen from Caraga Receives Social Pension
Check out this video featuring “Tatay” Bencio Deleña, one of the beneficiaries of the SPISC program in Caraga Region. In the video shared by DSWD Caraga, Tatay Bencio talks about why he is truly grateful for the program:
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Meanwhile, here are some commonly asked questions — and answers — about the SPISC program of DSWD:
1. What is DSWD Senior Citizen Assistance?
DSWD’s “senior citizen assistance,” better known as the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC) program, is an initiative that aims to support the elderly with their basic daily needs and medical expenses.
2. What are the legal bases of the program?
The SPISC program is based on Republic Act 9994 or the “Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010” as well as Republic Act 11916 or the “Social Pension for Indigent Seniors Act.”
3. What are the benefits of the program?
Through the SPISC program, qualified beneficiaries shall receive a social pension of PHP 500 per month. Notably, in accordance with recent announcements, this amount is set to increase to PHP 1,000 per month soon. What’s more, the frequency of payouts shall also be increased, from six months (every semester) to three months (every quarter).
4. Who can apply for social pension?
Filipinos who are 60 years old and above (senior citizens) can apply for social pension, provided that they are: (a) frail, sickly, or with disability; (b) without pension from government or private institutions; (c) without permanent source of income; or (d) without regular support from family or relatives for his/her basic needs.
5. How can I apply for social pension?
To apply for social pension, applicants are advised to submit these requirements to the nearest DSWD office: (a) accomplished Application Form with 1×1 picture; (b) Birth Certificate or any document showing the date of birth; and (c) Office for Senior Citizen Affairs (OSCA) ID. The application will undergo assessment before approval or confirmation.
6. Can I get my pension through a representative?
If you are unable to claim your social pension personally, you can assign an authorized representative to claim it on your behalf, provided that he/she submits: (a) original and photocopy of representative’s valid ID; (b) valid ID of program beneficiary; and (c) letter of authorization.
7. If I am already a program beneficiary, can my spouse apply also?
Even if you are already a beneficiary of the SPISC program, your spouse can still apply, as along as he/she is eligible and undergoes assessment.
That being said, please keep in mind that the DSWD has other programs that senior citizens can apply for. These include the Assistance to Individuals in Crisis Situations (AICS) program, which covers medical, transportation, and burial assistance, and also the Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program. Visit the nearest DSWD Office in your area for more information about these programs.
8. How can I learn more about the program?
To learn more about the SPISC program, simply head to the DSWD Office in your city or municipality. The contact details of these offices are also provided below.
Contact Information: DSWD Central Office
For those who are based in the National Capital Region (NCR), you can learn more about the SPISC program by getting in touch with the DSWD Central Office, whose contact details are as follows:
Address: Batasang Pambansa Complex, Constitution Hills, Quezon City, Philippines, 1126
Telephone: (02) 8931 8101 to 07
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (for inquiries or complaints)
NOTE: In addition to the DSWD Central Office in Quezon City, the department has Field Offices across the country. Here is the link to the directory of DSWD Field Offices, including the telephone number and website of each office:
Google Map Location
The DSWD Central Office is located in Quezon City, at the Batasang Pambansa Complex to be exact. Here is the office’s location on Google Maps, for your reference:
As Filipinos, one of the many positive traits that we are known for is respect for the elderly. Indeed, in our culture it is important to promote and protect the welfare of senior citizens, especially if we have elderly members in the family.
Fortunately, there are programs such as the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens (SPISC), which provide much needed assistance to elderly Filipinos who need it the most. Other than this program, the DSWD has other initiatives that could greatly benefit senior citizens as well.
DISCLAIMER: We hope that the above guide has been helpful, especially if you or anyone you know is in need of financial assistance as a senior citizen. Please note that this guide is presented for general, information-sharing purposes only. If you want to know more about the SPISC program, including the qualifications, requirements, legal bases, and steps involved, please visit the official website and Facebook page of DSWD.