As the threat of Covid-19 increases, the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security is considering alternative options of delivering pension payments to the thousands of pensioners in Guyana.
Minister Dr Vindhya Persaud, during a virtual press conference this morning, revealed that the government is moving to use venues like MoneyGram and Western Union to allow pensioners to uplift their monies.
Currently, only post offices are being used, causing massive gatherings when it is time to distribute the pensions.
According to Dr Persaud, plans are currently in place to have Western Union and MoneyGram locations added to the list of pension payment venues. This, she said, will be done by the last quarter of the year. Once they are added, she stated that they will become long-term payment venues since they are easily accessible to the public.
In addition, Dr Persaud said the Ministry is looking to adapt direct payments whereby monies will be deposited into pensioners bank account. Also, she added that the option of direct pension delivery to the homes of over 3000 pensioners who are homebound is also being considered.
In an effort to safeguard and protect the elderly, on April 29, 2020, the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) announced early pension payments. The GPOC disclosed that it had implemented a new alphabetised process which will be used only during the first five payment days of the month in Regions 2,3,4,5,6, and 10.
The Social Protection Minister said that this system remains in place. Moreover, she also said that the Ministry of Social Protection has collaborated with the GPOC, the Ministry of Health and several Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to develop appropriate and safe payment procedures for the elderly.
There are currently 59,000 pensioners on roll.