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StarPay can deliver aid to recipient’s without phones: DSWD

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DSWD Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova (PNA photo)


MANILA – Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Assistant Secretary Glenda Relova on Thursday said only StarPay and Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) have the capability to deliver cash aid under the social amelioration program (SAP) to beneficiaries who have no smartphones.


Relova made this comment after several senators questioned the DSWD’s move to award to StarPay a contract to distribute some PHP50 billion worth of financial assistance to indigents affected by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.


She said StarPay, RCBC and DSWD’s four other partners -- Land Bank of the Philippines, GCash, Robinson’s Bank, and PayMay-- were originally given equal amount to distribute to SAP beneficiaries.


“But over time, as the data from local government units comes in, we saw that most beneficiaries do not own a smartphone or telephone number, there are 70 percent of them.


"We asked the financial service providers who among them can still deliver the aid to recipients even without these. Only two have signified capacity — RCBC and StarPay,” she said in the Laging Handa public briefing.


“That’s why the allocation went to StarPay. Because only StarPay and RCBC manifested and submitted business proposals that they can perform mixed payout, it is what you call when the provider can both do digital wallet [transfer] and manual payout,” she added.


Relova also said all the funds entrusted to the financial service providers (FSPs) for SAP distribution were all accounted for.


“All the distributed financial assistance were supported by liquidation reports submitted by our financial service providers,” she said.


She said all the processes made by the FSPs and the DSWD for the payout were based on the guidelines approved by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and “existing government accounting rules and procedures.”


“The DSWD will make sure that the financial assistance has been given to the right and legitimate beneficiaries under our) Social Amelioration Program,” Relova said. (PNA)



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