Roxas City -- More than 4,000 senior citizens in Western Visayas have already claimed their one-time P500 cash subsidy.
Social Welfare and Development Secretary Esperanza Cabral disclosed that as of December last year, the 4,192 elderly from Region VI are among the 398,226 senior citizens who have already claimed their subsidy from the government's under the Katas ng VAT: Tulong Para kay Lolo at Lola.
The one-time P500 cash subsidy program of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo aims to provide and augment the resources of at least one million poor senior citizens funded through the excess collection of the oil Expanded Value Added Tax (E-VAT).
The government's subsidy program for the elderly was implemented through the DSWD.
Cabral, in the DSWD online news, disclosed that the "Katas ng VAT: Tulong Para kay Lolo at Lola" project is still ongoing.
"We already asked the assistance of the local government units through our Field Offices to submit the complete lists of senior citizens who are qualified for assistance and arrange for the payment scheme so that the P500 one-time cash subsidy of the government to our poor senior citizens will immediately be given to them," she said.
In Capiz, DSWD Field Officer Eliseo Abucay disclosed that some 9,340 senior citizens in Capiz will benefit from President Arroyo's subsidy program for the elderly with fund allocation of P4,305,000.
Abucay added that in December 2008, a total of 377 qualified senior citizens from Tapaz town had already claimed their cash assitance, while the 734 and 441 beneficiaries in Mambusao and President Roxas towns, respectively, will receive their subsidy this month.
Meanwhile, the DSWD records show that in December 2008 in Luzon, Region IV-A had the most number of claimants with 101,718, followed by Region IV-B with 11,387, Cabral said, adding that during the period in the Visayas, Region VIII had 20,000 claimants; followed by Region VII with 10,134 and Region V with 774.
On the other hand, in Mindanao, Region X had 23,490 claimants, followed by CARAGA with 4,268; Region IX had 2,498 and ARMM had 2,000.
As of January 30, 2009, Region I has 68,846 claimants, Region III has 46,334, Region XI has 31,950, Region II has 22, 911, NCR has 22,682, CAR has 18,737 and Region XII has 6,305.
(PIA) by Jemin B. Guillermo