Delays experienced in the distribution of the government’s emergency subsidy program due to digital platform glitches could have been avoided had cash aid been directly deposited to the designated bank accounts of the intended beneficiaries, Senator Win Gatchalian said.
The government was quick to enact laws to provide cash subsidy to low-income families for their basic needs but after the Bayanihan 2 law lapsed on June 30, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has yet to complete the payout.
Under Senate Bill No. 2251 better known as One Filipino, One Bank Account Act, Gatchalian said the intended beneficiaries can directly access the cash aid through their designated bank accounts and need not have to go through mobile or any software application programs.
“Sa ganitong setup, mas mabilis at makasisiguro tayo na direkta na agad sa mga benepisyaryo ang punta ng ayuda. Magagamit natin ito sa mga susunod pang pamimigay ng ayuda ng gobyerno,” Gatchalian said.
“Hindi kailangang maging kumplikado ang sistema lalo na kung tulong para sa mga kababayan nating nasa malalayong lugar ang pinag-uusapan. Halos karamihan sa kanila ay walang internet connection,” he added.
The DSWD signed a memorandum of agreement with the Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) and six financial service providers (FSPs) namely Robinsons Bank, UnionBank, RCBC, GCash, PayMaya and Starpay on June 30, 2020 to expedite the distribution or payment of the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP). Following the glitches, the DSWD terminated in April this year the services of the six FSPs and decided to conduct manual payments eyed to be completed by the end of the month.
Under Gatchalian’s proposal, any Filipino-holder of a national ID or who have registered under the Philippine Identification System (PhilSys) Act shall be entitled to a bank account which can be either under the Land Bank of the Philippines (LandBank) or Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) that is free from opening, maintenance fees, and charges.
“Dapat natuto na tayo sa ating naging karanasan. Kahit sabihin pa natin na halos lahat ng Pilipino ay nagmamay-ari ng cellphone, hindi naman lahat ay may kakayahan na makabili ng smartphones kung saan maaaring makapag download ng e-wallet applications,” he said.