Makati City Mayor Abigail Binay 

MANILA – The local government of Makati has already rolled out and distributed some PHP5,000 cash assistance to 114,828 qualified individuals under the Makatizen Economic Relief Program (MERP).

“I am happy to report that we have already rolled out our cash assistance to over 114,800 residents in just six working days. This has been made possible through the digital platforms we have utilized to reach more beneficiaries faster,” Makati Mayor Abigail Binay said Wednesday.

Makati residents are entitled to PHP5,000 cash assistance under the MERP, as part of the city’s relief efforts to mitigate the economic impact caused by coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.

The Makati LGU has earlier partnered with Globe GCash to implement a contactless and digitalized method of cash aid distribution, she said.

Binay said out of some 250,000 applications received since she announced the program, about 142,267 have been approved.

Around 10,000 applications were rejected by G-Cash, Binay said, due to incomplete and incorrect information submitted by the applicants.

She said appropriate steps will be provided for those rejected applicants, through a call or text message.

Personnel from the Makati LGU will explain why the application was rejected, she added.

“There is no need to panic because we have allotted enough budget for the program to cover 500,000 residents,” she said.

Meanwhile, Binay urged residents to apply online for the program via the Makatizen App or the portal, assuring them that the processing of online applications is now faster.

“Online applicants who qualify can receive their PHP5,000 in six working days after they register,” she said, noting that residents can also view the status of their Makatizen by visiting portal or through Makatizen App. 

Beware of fraud

Binay also advised cash aid recipients not to provide personal account details to anyone.

"Mag-ingat at huwag basta ibigay ang inyong GCash personal details sa mga taong nanghihingi ng impormasyon sa inyo sa pamamagitan ng text messages at email (be careful and don't provide your GCash details to people asking your information via text messages and email)," she said.

Binay made this call following reports that fraudsters are trying to take advantage of the Makati's financial assistance.

She said evolving phishing schemes are now being used by scammers to deceive the cash aid beneficiaries.

"Ang GCash Account ninyo ay maaaring ihalintulad sa isang bank account. Huwag ibigay ang mga detalye ng inyong account sa mga scammer (your GCash account is like to your bank account. Do not provide your account details to the scammer)," she said, adding that scammers are usually using an unknown number and email when doing fraudulent activities.

Binay said the local government and its partner GCash, will arrest fraudsters being caught from doing these illegal activities.

Under the Makatizen Economic Relief Program, the city government has allocated PHP2.7 billion to extend PHP5,000 to individual residents affected by the coronavirus crisis. (PNA)