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Anti-red tape body wants e-payments for gov’t cash aid

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THE Anti-Red Tape Authority wants electronic payments for cash aid under the government’s P200-billion program to support the poor affected by a Luzon-wide lockdown to contain a coronavirus pandemic that has brought the economy to a standstill.

“We are talking with LandBank and private e-wallet services to see how we can provide the aid electronically,” Director General Jeremiah B. Belgica said in a mobile-phone message on Thursday.

The body is investigating reports of red tape and are working with agencies including the task force against COVID-19 for possible policy reforms, he said.

Mr. Belgica said they are also coordinating with the Social Welfare department to base the eligibility on annual salary, which is available in employment and social security records.

He said workers may receive their aid through the Social Security System (SSS) through their employer’s payroll. The unemployed may also file a claim through SSS by submitting their updated business permit from the Department of Trade and Industry, he added.

Deputy Speaker Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. on Wednesday said the rules have delayed the release of the cash aid.

Under the law that gave President Rodrigo R. Duterte special powers to deal with the outbreak, affected Metro Manila households will get P8,000 in subsidy for two months, while those in other regions will get P5000 to P6000.

Beneficiaries of the Social Welfare department’s conditional cash transfer program may get cash aid directly through their cash cards. Others like jeepney drivers may also file individual claims.

Mr. Belgica said government employees may waive or get disqualified from cash relief because they are still receiving their wages.

Social Welfare Secretary Rolando D. Bautista told a news briefing on Thursday their regional officers have been coordinating with local governments to work on the list of beneficiaries. Validating the list would take time, he added. — Jenina P. Ibañez





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