GCash tapped for faster, safer distribution of cash aid to PUV drivers – DSWD

Robie de Guzman   •   May 14, 2020   •   1586

MANILA, Philippines – Public utility vehicle (PUV) and transport network vehicle service (TNVS) drivers in the National Capital Region (NCR) who are qualified beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) may soon get their cash assistance through GCash, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) announced Thursday.

In a statement, the DSWD said the department, along with the Department of Transportation-Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board, forged a partnership with G-Xchange, Inc. (GCash) for the distribution of cash subsidies to TNVS and PUV drivers and their families.

The DSWD said the partnership aims to facilitate a quicker and safer approach of cash disbursement since the payout scheme promotes cashless and contactless transactions, compliant to the health and safety protocols being implemented by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID).

GCash is one of the mobile wallet platforms widely used in the Philippines.

The DSWD said that by leveraging financial technology for the disbursement of cash aid, the risk of crowding will be reduced in disbursement centers like banks, while also improving efficiencies, and promoting transparency and accountability.

“TNVS driver-beneficiaries may withdraw their subsidies via GCash from any Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) nationwide or use the funds to pay for physical and online transactions,” the department said.

“They may also use GCash to pay bills to over 70,000 merchants and billers, buy airtime load, and easily transfer money to other GCash account owners or bank accounts from over 40 financial institutions nationwide,” it added.

The development comes ahead of the distribution of the second tranche of SAP payout.

This also comes after Senator Grace Poe urged the government to tap online cash transfer systems to expedite the distribution of cash subsidy to driver-beneficiaries.

The DSWD vowed to continue to explore more efficient and expeditious means to ensure the provision of needed assistance to low-income families assessed to be most affected by the implementation of the community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MRT-3 to deploy 90 augmentation buses during suspended weekend operations

Marje Pelayo   •   July 3, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 90 bus units will be on standby at end terminals of Metro Rail Transit Line 3 (MRT-3) to ferry passengers who will be affected by the suspended weekend operations of the train system. 

The first trip will be at 5:30 am and the last trip will be at 8:00 pm from North Avenue to Taft Avenue station and vice versa.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) earlier announced the temporary suspension of weekend operations to facilitate the replacement and installation of new rails. 

READ: No MRT-3 operations in four weekends from July to September – DOtr

Maintenance works at the stations are expected to be completed by December 2020. MNP (with inputs from Joan Nano)

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DSWD allots P100k per field office for PWD assistive devices

Robie de Guzman   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has announced that starting this year, an annual budget of P100,000 will be allocated for each of its field offices to provide assistive devices for persons with disability (PWD) in the country.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the DSWD said the move is in line with its mandate of providing programs and services to vulnerable sectors, especially the PWDs.

“The person with disability sector is among the most affected by the declaration of community quarantine brought about by the spread of COVID-19 in the country,” it said.

“To help them regain and develop their self and social enhancement, the DSWD, through its Field Offices will provide augmentation support for the assistive devices of blind and low vision, deaf/hearing impaired, and orthopedically and physically challenged individuals,” it added.

The DSWD said these devices may include talking laptops and tablets, talking canes/smart canes, and Braille system for the blind and visually impaired; hearing aids with beamforming technology, customized headphones, and Cochlear implant for deaf and hearing impaired; motorized wheelchair, customized wheelchair, tri-wheelchair bike, talking watch, customized artificial eyes, and neuro-prosthesis for the orthopedically and physically challenged.

“Persons with disability may request for the augmentation support of their assistive devices through the Focal Person on Persons with Disability Welfare Program and Assistance for Individuals in Crisis Situation (AICS) at the Crisis Intervention Units (CIUs) of the DSWD Field Offices,” the department said.

With the current situation, the DSWD said PWDs may send representatives to apply and claim for assistance at the field offices in their areas.’

Social Welfare Action Development teams in the provinces are also mobilized to accept applications and send these to the Field Offices for processing, it added.

To avail of the assistive devices, the PWDs are advised to prepare and submit the following documents:

  • Medical certificate indicating the disability with date issued
  • Full name and signed by attending physician which will be valid for 3 months
  • Request for assistive devices and quotation showing the amount of the assistive device
  • Barangay Indigency Certificate of the person with disability or client
  • One valid identification card

“The Department hopes that through these assistive devices, the persons with disability will continue to be productive and contributing members of society, despite their disability, in these critical times,” the DSWD said.

Duterte tells DOTr to put more seats at NAIA

Marje Pelayo   •   July 1, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte expressed concern over the plight of locally stranded individuals (LSIs) crowding the premises of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

He has ordered Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade to provide additional resting areas and chairs for waiting passengers.

In the past weeks, thousands of LSIs flocked the premises of NAIA hoping for their flights to proceed.

“Walang maupuan. Iilan lang ang upuan. Kapag may flights nagpatong-patong, ang iba nakatindig. What’s really worse is that mayroong restaurant sa labas na malaki,” the President told Tugade during the late night briefing on Tuesday (June 30).

(There are not enough seats. When there are flights, people would crowd and some are forced to stand. The worst part is, there’s a huge restaurant outside.)

Paalisin mo ang restaurant. Lagyan ng upuan kasi ang mga buntis, mga bata, walang upuan,” he added.

(Remove the restaurant. Put more seats because pregnant women and children have nowhere to sit.)

Meanwhile, the President asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to provide for the needs of LSIs outside the airport premises. 

Gather all na naghihintay ng walang matulugan, walang matirhan at nandiyan sa labas ng NAIA,” he told Año.

(Gather all those who have no place to stay and are just staying outside of NAIA.)

“You will be transported to a place. I will pay. Just bill me [including food],” the President said. MNP (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

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