Sat. Jan 22nd, 2022

MANILA — Beneficiaries of the government’s Social Amelioration Program (SAP) now have more outlets to withdraw their financial aid as Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC) works to open payout partners in all provinces in the country.

“With RCBC’s massive payout partner network equipped with proven disbursements platforms, the growing collaboration among these partners present in 72 out of 81 provinces is a testament of our commitment in helping the government,” said RCBC executive vice president and chief innovation and inclusion officer, Lito Villanueva, in a statement on Sunday.

RCBC targets to cover all provinces of the country with handheld automated teller machines (ATM) as the bank beefs up the payout partner network through its ATM Go service, Villanueva added.

In April and May, RCBC deployed almost 60 additional ATM Go terminals to new and existing payout partners.

These include the New Rural Bank of San Leonardo, Cantilan Bank, Baug CARP Beneficiaries Multi-Purpose Cooperative, Kooperatiba ng Sampaloc, Bayad Center branches, and other small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

By June, there will be 90 more ATM Go terminals that will be infused into the network after the onboarding of new payout partners.

These include microfinance nonprofit organization Kabalikat para sa Maunlad na Buhay, Inc., Mount Carmel Rural Bank, Oro Integrated Cooperative, Perpetual Help Cooperative, Cooperative Bank of Nueva Vizcaya, Ekolife OFW Marketing Cooperative, Paglaum Multi-Purpose Cooperative, CARD Bank, CARD SME Bank, and CARD MRI Rizal Bank.

ATM Go’s massive payout partner network, with a presence in 89 percent of provinces in the Philippines, shall also be the backbone of the Diskartech Lite disbursement platform to ensure the widest coverage of payout.

Last April 20, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) gave Yuchengco-led RCBC the authority to accept and distribute SAP cash aid to aid families affected by the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon due to the crisis brought by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.

RCBC is the first private bank allowed to aid in the efforts of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in distributing SAP under the Republic Act 11469 or the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.

Where else can beneficiaries receive aid?

RCBC has offered for free to the national government the use of its DiskarTech Lite facility as a disbursement platform.

It will soon be available in DSWD’s ReliefAgad App as one of the choices for receiving emergency aid.

ReliefAgad, a quick relief system that would enable the DSWD to expedite capturing social amelioration card (SAC) details, and interface with any electronic payment systems, was launched on May 14 to pilot run in the National Capital Region.

However, other LGUs outside the NCR and Luzon have followed suit to save money from hiring encoders and hasten the process.

Andrew Ambubuyog, director of the DSWD Information and Communication Technology Management Service, said in an interview on Monday that the system has counted 1,900,000 applications already.

DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said the agency shall submit a report on the number of registrants and approved applications coursed through the app.

The department also reminded that only those who are entitled to the different cash assistance programs under the Emergency Subsidy Program (ESP) of SAP, namely, the low-income or poor families belonging to the informal sector and families with members from the vulnerable sector, can use the ReliefAgad app to register.

They also highly encourage digital transactions to receive cash assistance.

“The fastest, safest, and most convenient way to receive your cash assistance is through an account like e-money accounts in GCash or PayMaya, or any of the 54 participating banks in the PESONet payment system,” the ReliefAgad website states.

This includes Landbank, BPI, BDO, Metrobank, Security Bank, Unionbank, RCBC, and other banks. DSWD and/or the LGU may decide to use other payment options available to the beneficiaries.

If in case the head of the family does not have a GCash, PayMaya, or any bank account, they can provide the accounts of their wife, son/daughter, or sibling. (ia/PNA)

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