DSWD: 3.5-M households to get 2 months’ worth of COVID-19 cash aid through e-wallets
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Tuesday said it would be integrating e-wallets as a way for beneficiaries to claim their cash aid from the government.
In a press briefing relaunching their ReliefAgad webapp, the DSWD said qualified beneficiaries have four ways to get cash aid from the government, and except for one, this did not involve physical contact to avoid the spread of COVID-19.
“There are four payment options that they can choose when they register, specifically, cash, Gcash, Paymaya or Banks,” said Andrew Ambubuyog, director of DSWD Information and Communication Technology Management Service.
Ambubuyog also said potential beneficiaries could also enter which e-money merchant they prefer, for consideration of the department. E-merchants can be pawnshops such as Palawan Express or Cebuana Lhuillier.
The ReliefAgad can be accessed at reliefagad.ph.
It was developed by the DEVCON Community of Technology Experts (DCTx), a volunteer-based global community working in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and with support from the United States Embassy in the Philippines, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Using the app, potential beneficiaries who already have their Social Amelioration Card can easily input data by either scanning the barcode of their SAC form or manually encoding their details on the app. They then select how they would like to receive their cash subsidies.
DSWD Spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the department had inked agreements with both GCash and Paymaya.
In separate Viber messages to reporters, Dumlao also said the department has decided to give some 3.5 million households of the five million left out beneficiaries, assistance for both first and second tranches.
“The 3.5 million of the 5 million waitlisted or left out from the identified enhanced community quarantine areas will receive subsidy equivalent to two months,” Dumlao said, adding that the remaining 1.5 million left out beneficiaries will be getting one month’s worth of aid only.
In a separate briefing, DSWD Secretary Rolando Rabutista said the department aims to distribute the second tranche of cash aid “within the month.”
Under the Bayanihan to Heal as One Law, the government committed to provide cash aid to about 18 million households which have been greatly affected by the ECQ. It was supposed to be distributed in two tranches, first in April, then again in May. However, the May subsidy has yet to be distributed, a week into June.
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