By Mike G. Jamisola
The National Commission of Senior Citizens (NCSC) has appealed to senior citizens to stay calm but cautious over the proliferation of ‘distorted news’ and ‘misinformation drive’ spreading like wildfire over social media that has caused confusion and unnecessary alarm. NCSC Chairman Atty. Franklin Quijano issued the public advisory to warn the elderly about rumors and disinformation issues ranging from the distribution of social pensions to indigent seniors to the transfer of functions and duties of senior citizen-related benefits and programs from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to the NCSC.
The NCSC has noticed that the most glaring disinformation scheme that some vloggers and trolls do is to copy the icon or logo or even the actual website of the NCSC on their post and share it on various social media platforms to make it appear that it is official or legitimate NCSC posting although the text or content of which is fake news. The distorted post went viral on Facebook on Monday, (Feb. 27) much to the surprise and even panic of many concerned senior citizens as the NCSC was flooded with many questions on its veracity.
[“Senior Citizen(NCSC) R.A. 11350. All Senior Citizen pensioner or nonpensioner will receive 1k per month or 3k every 3months under the NCSC ang Office of the Senior Citizens Affair no longer under DSWD but under NCSC. Register online www.ncsc.gov.ph The 1k monthly pension will take effect on March 2023 .”]
These claims are distorted according to Quijano as he made it clear that the duties and functions related to senior citizens have not been transferred from DSWD to NCSC. He added that RA 11916 has mandated that within 3 years, DSWD will transfer all duties and functions related to seniors to NCSC but till now it has not taken effect yet. “While it’s true that RA 11916 mandates the 100 percent increase in the indigent senior citizen's monthly pension – from PHP500 to PHP1,000, it would still have to be funded by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and it could only take effect after the National Treasury have allocated the needed fund but as of now it is still unfunded,” Quijano explained.
At present, only selected indigent senior citizens numbering around 4.1 million out of the total 12.2 million are receiving PHP500 social pension per month but that will soon be doubled by virtue of RA 11916 after it gets the funding from DBM. Quijano concluded that the NCSC is throwing its full support to the universal social pension, which is still pending in Congress, so indigent seniors will have to contend with the PHP 500 monthly as of yet. Universal Social Pension is a proposal stipulating that all senior citizens, regardless of financial status or economic bracket, shall be entitled to a monthly stipend.