Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during a press conference at the Ministry of Health. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman

Government welfare and pension recipients are encouraged to set up bank accounts in order to receive payments as the sultanate ramps up its social distancing measures to curb the further spread of COVID-19.

This was said by the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS), Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Hj Aminuddin Ihsan POKSMDSP Hj Abidin during a joint press conference held at the Ministry of Health recently.

According to the minister, the move towards using bank payments acts as an optional choice for all recipients for the current method of receiving payments through village heads and penghulus is still intact.

Recipients would normally gather at respective grassroots leaders’ houses to collect their pension monies.

“Bank payments planned for April (for old-age pension recipients) as stated in a press statement by the MCYS dated March 12, will be carried out in advance on this month in light of the country’s current situation,” said the minister.

Recipients who chose to receive payments through banks will have to complete an application form either physically or through online by downloading the application form at www.kkbs.gov.bn or www.japem.gov.bn.

The option for receiving payment through banks in March has already opened since March 16.

To be legible, the recipient must submit the online form via email to the Community Development Department (JAPEM), MCYS.

Forms submitted after March 19 will begin receiving their payment through banks in April and onwards.

“To date, the ministry has received a total of 1,602 applications which will receive their payments this month,” he said.

“However this amount is only a fraction of the total number of recipients and we encourage more of them to submit their applications,” the minister added.

For recipients receiving payment via grassroots leaders, YB Dato Hj Aminuddin Ihsan said that the Ministry of Home Affairs had already conducted a dialogue with village heads and penghulus on the payment procedures, taking into consideration social distancing as a factor.

Recipients receiving payments at the residences of grassroots leaders, according to the minister will be arranged in phases or in a “staggered timing” method.

“At the same time, for recipients in rural areas with a large number of residents, plans have been made for the payments to be made in community halls or other locations with a large capacity,” he continued.

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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