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S$20 million in vouchers to be distributed to 400,000 households

S$20 million in vouchers to be distributed to 400,000 households

People, wearing face masks as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, queue to buy food at a hawker centre in Singapore on May 14, 2020. (Photo: AFP/Roslan RAHMAN)

SINGAPORE: Up to 400,000 Singaporean households – or about 30 per cent of Singapore households – will soon be given a set of vouchers that can be used at more than 2,000 neighbourhood shops and hawker stalls. 

Under the S$20 million Community Development Council (CDC) Vouchers Scheme, each identified household will receive S$50 worth of vouchers in S$2 denomination, said the People’s Association in a press release on Friday (Jun 12).

The vouchers can be used to redeem food and essential goods and services at participating hawkers and merchants between Jun 25 and Dec 31. 

The CDC Vouchers Scheme was launched by Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and mayors of the five districts in Singapore on Friday. 

This scheme comes after Mr Heng’s Budget speech in February, where he announced that the CDCs will get a S$20 million boost to do more for the community. 

“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,” South West District mayor Low Yen Ling told CNA.

“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,” she added.

A sample image of a voucher from the CDC Voucher Scheme. (Photo: People's Association)

To date, 2,500 merchants and hawkers across Singapore have signed up to participate in the initiative. 

They include include food stalls in coffee shops and hawker centres, traditional Chinese medical halls, provision shops, mini-marts, barbers and hair salons, family clinics and optical shops.

This is the first time CDC vouchers may be used islandwide, instead of in certain districts, said Ms Low, who is also chairman of the Mayors’ Committee.

“We are very inclusive because heartland malls really add a lot of vitality to the whole neighbourhood centre,” said Ms Low.

She added that merchants who are interested in participating in the scheme may contact their constituency office.

READ: 'We want them to know they're not alone': New scheme to distribute food vouchers to more than 12,000 disadvantaged students 

READ: ‘If no work at all, how?’ Low-income families grapple with zero income, higher expenses amid circuit breaker

Eligible households will be notified through mail by the end of July, with voucher collection rolled out in batches to “ensure safe distancing” and to “minimise over-crowding”, said the People’s Association.

Each household will be able to collect their vouchers from the date noted in their letter up until Dec 1.

To collect the vouchers, identified households must bring the letter and one NRIC from any member of the household to the designated Community Club indicated in the letter. 

While each household will receive S$50, families that need more help may inform Community Club staff, who will help them get in touch with a relevant government agency, said Ms Low.

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Source: CNA/cc


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