SINGAPORE – According to Channel News Asia, the People’s Association said during a June 12 (Friday) press release that vouchers worth S$20 million will be distributed to at least 400,000 households, which comprise around 30 per cent of all Singapore’s households.
With the S$20 million Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers Scheme, identified households will get up to S$50 in total, in S$2 units. These vouchers will allow people to purchase food items and essential goods and services with participatory hawker stalls and retailers from June 25 up to December 31.
CNA shares that Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, along with mayors of five Singapore districts, launched the CDC Voucher Scheme in order to help lower-income households deal with the ongoing pandemic. The plan had come after Mr Heng had given a speech in February, explaining that CDC was to receive a “S$20 million boost to do more for the community.”
South West District Mayor Low Yen Ling shared with CNA, “We know Covid-19 has disrupted livelihoods, and we wanted to be responsive and come up with a programme that can help residents from lower-income families address these challenges.”
She went on to say, “Besides helping lower-income families meet their daily needs, this S$20 million CDC voucher initiative will draw the local community together as the vouchers encourage Singaporeans to buy from local businesses, hawker stalls and mom-and-pop shops in the heartlands and HDB estates.”
So far, at least 2,500 hawkers and other retailers throughout Singapore have agreed to participate in this voucher scheme. Many of the merchants include food stalls, TCM Halls, barbers and hair salons, coffee shops, hawker centres, optical shops, and family clinics.
As explained by Ms Low, who is also acting chairman of the Mayors’ Committee, another notable difference with this CDC scheme is that the vouchers will be accepted ‘islandwide,’ rather than just in certain places in the country.
She cited, “We are very inclusive because heartland malls really add a lot of vitality to the whole neighbourhood centre.” She also indicated that merchants that want to participate but have yet to sign up can still call their constituency office in order to do so.
The People’s Association also said that households that are qualified to receive vouchers will be advised towards the end of July via mail. The voucher collection will be done “in batches” in order to make sure that there is no over-crowding during acquisition, and to be able to follow social distancing rules.
For voucher release, each household will be required to bring the letter and at least one National Registry Identity Card (NRIC) to the Community Club location stated in the letter. They can also pick up their vouchers from the date on the notice letter all the way until December 1.
Also shared in the CNA article, Ms Low explained that while the scheme has allotted S$50 vouchers per household, those that require more help can tell the staff of the Community Club and they will get in touch with the proper government agency.
Ms Low also said, “As our residents patronise their neighbourhood shops and hawkers, we hope it will also build a fresh sense of solidarity and mutual support among Singaporeans.”
She added, “We are all in this crisis together, from residents to shopkeepers, from families to businesses, individuals and organisations. But by joining hearts and hands, we can gain new fresh confidence to overcome the odds and emerge even stronger.” /TISG