Providing the indigent elderly with a monthly allowance is a good response to improving the plight of seniors among the poor and vulnerable. With the implementation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development's (DSWD) Social Pension (SocPen) program in 2020, an additional 37.9 percent of the country's elderly population have been covered with a noncontributory pension. However, this Policy Note reveals some issues in the implementation of the program. Hence, some strategic policy actions are recommended to address them. It suggests that DSWD must strengthen its system monitoring and evaluation mechanisms and consider relinking the definition of indigency to levels of income of senior citizens. These strategies can reduce the possibility of the system being gamed and politicized. It also recommends standardizing the application process into three stages: (i) submitting application forms and other relevant documents, (ii) interviewing potential pensioners and independently determining the veracity of submitted data, and (iii) providing feedback to applicants. Lastly, it calls for the regular updating of the SocPen Operations Manual and conducting data analytics on the SocPen beneficiary database.
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