Gov't allows full operation of FSPs for SAP digital payout

The government has allowed the full operation of its partner financial service providers (FSPs) to continue the digital payout of the social amelioration program even in areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ).

The aid beneficiaries shall also be allowed "limited movement" to get such assistance based on the latest resolution issued by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Infectious Diseases (IATF).

The two requests were made by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) "to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of social amelioration to the most vulnerable in areas under the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ)," according to IATF resolution No. 61.

"Pursuant to the pertinent provisions of the Omnibus Guidelines on the Implementation of Community Quarantine in the Philippines, partner financial service providers are hereby allowed to operate at full capacity," the IATF Resolution No.  61 read.

"As such, the employees of said financial service providers shall be allowed full mobility in the performance of their functions," it added.

The IATF resolution added: "Beneficiaries of the Social Amelioration Program not otherwise restricted shall be allowed limited movement to avail of and receive such benefits."

The social welfare department is in the middle of the distribution of the second tranche of cash aid to low income families when President Duterte placed Metro Manila and four neighboring provinces under MECQ, a more restrictive lockdown from the previous general community quarantine (GCQ), until August 18.

Financial service providers like GCash, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), Robinson’s Bank, PayMaya, Starpay, and Unionbank have earlier been tapped to facilitate the faster digital payouts of the cash aid after concerns raised over the delays in the first tranche.

Of the 14.1 million target low income families, around 9.6 million beneficiaries have so far received the financial grants under the second tranche of the social amelioration program. 

A DSWD official recently asked for more understanding in the aid distribution as the MECQ may supposedly push back the payouts.