DAVAO CITY, July 9 (PIA) – Most of the beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) for 2nd tranche will be receiving their cash assistance thru digital means such as money remittance or banks within this month of July.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD XI) regional director Grace Subong announced in One Davao Virtual Presser that the regional office has met with its partner Starpay, a licensed Electronic Money Issuer (EMI) and Remittance Agent, and discussed with them the system and process to be followed for the distribution of the SAP 2nd tranche.
Subong discussed that with the digital system, beneficiaries will be receiving a notification via SMS thru the Starpay. They will be notified on where and when to claim the cash assistance. Some of the remittance center conduits of the Starpay where the beneficiaries can claim their assistance are Western Union, and Lhuillier. They may also claim it thru banks such as the RCBC.
The DSWD official admitted that resorting to digital payment for the 2nd tranche of assistance was caused by some factors learned through the distribution of the first tranche.
“Before, the DSWD downloaded the money to the LGUs so they can help in the distribution. However, we learned that a major limitation in this system is the availability of special disbursing officers. That’s why we addressed this problem and looked for a partner thru Starpay,” Subong said.
She added that some areas of Davao City also posted challenges in terms of geographic location which made it hard for the government to reach and inform its target beneficiaries.
In a press release, Starpay Corporation President Lamberto Scarella cited, “this partnership not only helps to advance the Bangko Sentral’s push for true financial inclusion for all, but will also be a safe, secure, and convenient way for the DSWD to distribute to the beneficiaries. We’ve seen the state of the beneficiaries and want to show them that the support that they receive can be done without the need to fall in line for long periods of time and without the need to go out of their homes.
Through the digital distribution of the government subsidy, Starpay envisions to be the first Filipino financial technology firm to spearhead a robust digital financial system that will include the unbanked and underbanked segment of the population”.
The DSWD said that the Starpay is currently gathering information from the DSWD inorder to start its digital payment.
While most beneficiaries will receive the assistance digitally, some areas in Davao Region will have a direct payout.
“ The Starpay asked from us which areas don’t have remittance center and banks. A direct payout will be the means of distribution in such areas,” Subong said.
In areas where a direct payout will be applied, the DSWD highlighted the big help of the security sector to help maintain order and ensure that physical distancing is strictly followed. (PIA XI/Frances Mae Macapagat)