Tue. Sep 21st, 2021

MANILA — Half of the PHP200 billion to be distributed to people whose livelihoods were affected by the enhanced community quarantines (ECQ) put in place to address the rise of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) is now available.

“The first PHP100 billion for the first month’s cash distribution is available as certified by the Bureau of the Treasury,” Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III told journalists Wednesday night.

The fund is targeted to be distributed immediately to about 80 percent of Filipinos affected by the quarantine. 

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) was tasked to distribute the financial aid since it already has the list of some of the beneficiaries, particularly the 4.2 million households that are members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

The 4Ps beneficiaries receive their financial support through the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank) cash cards that have been given to them.

Meanwhile, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) eased the rules on know-your-customer (KYC) requirements for financial institutions during the implementation of the ECQ and until June 30, 2020 “to facilitate the delivery of welfare funds to identified beneficiaries who have no available valid IDs or transaction account.”

The relaxed KYC requirement applies to over-the-counter and digital or online transactions.

It considers this financial support as low-risk transactions since the amount involved is not huge.

In a statement, the central bank said that while it relaxed the KYC rules, it also introduced control measures to ensure that erring individuals and groups will not be able to launder money and transfer funds for terrorism financing.

These control measures include a PHP50,0000 daily transaction limit per account, the qualified accounts are those for people or businesses in areas covered by the ECQ and community quarantine, the customers need to certify that he or she has no valid ID and that the customer’s account activities “shall be subject to ongoing monitoring.”

The BSP said financial institutions are expected to obtain the required minimum information from the customer and perform risk-based customer due diligence. (PNA)

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