JIS News

Beneficiaries under the Programme for Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) are to be provided with cash cards, which will enable them to more readily access their funds.
Minister of State for Labour and Social Security, Senator Floyd Morris, who made the announcement in the Senate yesterday (Sept. 29), said that the cash cards were being introduced on a pilot basis in Manchester, St. Catherine and Kingston.
“It will see beneficiaries being granted a card that they can go to supermarket and use just like any other cash card. They can go to any National Commercial Bank machine and draw cash,” he explained.
With the cash cards, Senator Morris said, “beneficiaries no longer have to wonder if the money is at the post office”, as they will be notified by way of a text message immediately after the money is lodged in their accounts.
“This is all a part of the strategy being employed by the Ministry and the government to improve the quality of service being offered to the poor,” he told the Upper House.
Meanwhile, Senator Morris informed that the Ministry was undertaking a programme to modernise its parish offices to ensure greater efficiency of the PATH programme. “We have secured a number of computers that will be placed in parish offices and this is going to facilitate the direct inputting of data on the applicants to the programme,” he said.
He noted that, the “head office will still have the responsibility of applying the scoring formula that is used to determine whether or not the applicant is qualified for the programme and this will be maintained to ensure greater control over the system.”
The Social Security Ministry further announced the implementation of a beneficiary identification system, which would determine the eligibility of applicants.There are some 200,000 beneficiaries islandwide under the PATH programme.

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