DAVAO CITY—The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) began distributing the P100,000 onetime payment for Filipinos who breezed past their 100 years and are still living.
DSWD Regional Director for Davao Region Mercedita Habagat said the government already paid the amount to 20 certified centenarians here, from out of the 52. On Monday some more centenarians would be receiving the amount as DSWD personnel travel to Bansalan and Magsaysay towns in Davao del Sur.
Twenty-four of the nation’s centenarians are living in Davao City.
The region may have more than 100 centenarians, Habagat said, but more than half of them could not get accredited or certified for lack of official documents ascertaining their date of birth.
The Davao region has submitted a list of more than 100 centenarians to be allocated the budget in 2016, but the Department of Budget and Management slashed the number to only 52 persons. She said the money would be added if the centenarians could ascertain their birth dates.
The money assistance would be paid only once.
Habagat also begged off from identifying the beneficiaries yet “because they might become targets of unscrupulous persons”.
“If the money has already become the source of fighting among family members, it would not be farfetched that outsiders would also take interest,” she said.
The giving of the onetime gift money was provided under a new law enacted in July last year.
Another funding-assistance program promised last year by President Duterte was a P1-billion fund for indigent patients nationwide. The fund has already been accessed by patients.
As of March this year, the DSWD’s crisis intervention unit disbursed P36,856,000 to 114,742 patients. The money would be used to buy medicines only.
Habagat said the Davao region was allotted P115 million from the P1-billion allocation. Of the money, P100 million was allotted to the patients at the Southern Philippines Medical Center, the country’s largest government hospital, where patients as far as the Visayas seek treatment.
The remaining P15 million was alloted to Tagum City’s Davao Regional Hospital.
The Davao City government has its own “Lingap para sa Mahirap” medical care program for indigents, but due to the sheer number of residents availing themselves of it, only as much as P3,000 would be given per patient. With the help of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, a patient entitled to receive assistance would get a total of P10,000, she added.
Habagat said the DSWD could extend only as much as P75,000 per patient.