Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Senior Citicens To Get VAT Windfall

Davao City, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / Oct. 28, 2008) – Some P500 million in Philippine government collections from the oil taxes are expected to benefit poor senior citizens who are not covered by any retirement benefits.

“Poor citizens who are seventy years old and above and not covered by retirement benefits from Social Security System or Government Service Insurance System and the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office are among the recipients of the one-time cash subsidy of P500 obtained from the national government’s oil value added tax collections,” said Estrella Brigole, of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, at a press conference in Davao City on Monday.

“The DSWD is coordinating with the local government units and the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) for the smooth implementation of the project. For Davao region alone, we are targeting some 60,000 older persons that would require P30 million funds. Authorized DSWD special disbursing officers shall go down to the LGUs on the scheduled payout dates and directly disburse the cash subsidy to the claimant,” she said.
She said if more senior citizens meet the subsidy criteria; the ratio of one beneficiary per family shall be followed. She urged eligible senior citizens to apply at their local OSCA or at the local social welfare office so they can be included in the master list of those who can avail of the program.
She said senior citizens should bring with them any valid identification cards and village certification which indicates their birth dates before they cay be included in the government’s poverty assistance.

Brigole said local governments have until November 10 to submit the master list to the DSWD regional offices. “The DSWD shall submit the master list of senior citizens including photocopy of ID and Barangay (village) Certification to Central Office for funding. Date of release of the cash subsidy will be announced by LGU officials,” she said.
“Eligible senior citizens may claim the subsidy at their local OSCA or in the absence of such, the local social welfare and development office. Claimants must present any valid ID indicating birth date, or Barangay Certification. Authorized representatives of senior citizens who are unable to claim must present a valid ID, valid ID of the senior citizen and authorization letter,” she added. (With reports from Carmela Duron and Romy Bwaga)

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