More Indigent Sulu Residents to Receive State Pension Program


Photo Courtesy: John Unson

COTABATO CITY — The Bangsamoro social services ministry is aiming to release within the year the cash grants to 20,563 indigent Tausug and Sama beneficiaries in Sulu province of the national government’s social pension program.

The Ministry of Social Services and Development-Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao is the conduit of the central office of the Department of Social Services and Development for the Senior Citizens Social Pension, or SocPen allowances, based on a congressional mandate, the Republic Act 9994, also known as the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010.

A pensioner is entitled to a P500 monthly SocPen subsidy, to become P1,000 monthly starting January 2024, as provided for by another law, the RA 11916.

Jidday Buat Lucman, a senior information staff of MSSD-BARMM, told reporters on Saturday, a total of 1, 535 pensioners in Sulu’s Panglima Tahil and Lugus towns had each received a total of P3,000 worth of cash pensions, covering the periods January to June 2023, in payouts that started two weeks ago.

“Our ministry is targeting the release of SocPen subsidies to thousands more pensioners in different towns in Sulu soon. This is an activity of the national government, channeled through MSSD-BARMM, for implementation in the autonomous region,” Lucman said.

Lucman said provincial personnel of MSSD-BARMM shall facilitate in the coming weeks the release of SocPen grants to more than 20,000 other beneficiaries in 17 other towns in Sulu, including Jolo, the capital of the province.

Tausug members of the 80-seat Bangsamoro parliament, among them the lawyer Hadji Nabil Alfad Tan, said they appreciate the national government’s increase to P1,000 monthly, starting 2024, of the SocPen subsidy to qualified pensioners.

“That’s a big help to our indigent and marginalized constituents in Sulu,” Tan said. (John Felix Unson)

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