ILOILO CITY, July 13 (PIA) –- All eight of them were assigned to front row seats inside the Capiz Gymnasium. From there they had a vantage view of President Benigno S. Aquino III as he led the distribution here July 12 of social services benefits to beneficiaries from their province and city.
And while the other beneficiaries had to go up the stage to claim their benefits ranging from Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) checks to Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) from the President Aquino, the eight who were all senior citizens just stood up from their seats when it was their turn to receive their benefits.
At this point, President Aquino went down the stage to hand in the government’s Social Pension for the Elderly to each of the eight beneficiaries who would have had difficulty in going up the stage.
At their vantage point inside the gym, they had also more of the President.
The eight senior citizens who personally received their social pensions from the President were among the 68 beneficiaries in Roxas City.
They are all indigents. And it was for them that the monthly pension was adopted by the government in line with its thrust to ensure the welfare of the most vulnerable sector of society.
The monthly pension is actually a stipend intended to augment the daily subsistence and medical needs of indigent senior citizens. It is also designed to reduce the incidence of hunger among them as well as protect them from neglect, abuse and deprivation.
The pensions they received amounting to P1,500.00 represented their benefits for the second quarter of the year from July to September. All in all, the benefits of the 68 beneficiaries for the period amounted to P102, 000.00.
Eighty-eight year old Magdalena Benosa of Barangay Lonoy, Roxas City told the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) that she was profoundly happy that she had been included among the program beneficiaries.
“Salamat gid nga madamu,” Daling, as she is fondly called, said in Capiznon. (Thank you very much.)
She is presently living with her daughter and her two grandchildren.
Daling’s fellow senior citizens at the distribution ceremony – Monica Ignacio, Teresita Teves, Alicia Brillo, Maria Javato, Pablito Adonay, Dominica Alicante and Venancio Dapadap – had the same message for President Aquino and the government.
They said that the monthly pension is a big help.
President Aquino was on his first visit to Capiz and Roxas City. He also distributed PhilHealth cards to sponsored beneficiaries and benefits under the supplemental feeding program, Conditional Cash Transfer, and Self-Employment Assistance-Kaunlaran.
He also handed out Certificates of Land Ownership Award (CLOAs) and assistance for projects of the Department of Agriculture (DA) for Capiz.
Earlier in the day, the President was in Kalibo, Aklan where he also distributed benefits under the government’s social programs. (JCM/JSC/PIA6)