As local governments implement initiatives to alleviate the financial situation of their constituents, GCash willingly lent a helping hand to serve as a distribution platform for cash assistance. Makati is the first city in Metro Manila to implement contactless financial assistance through GCash and the Makatizen Card. Under the Makatizen Economic Relief Program, now called the MAKA-tulong 5K for 500K+ Makatizens, the local government provides its individual qualified citizens with P5,000 in financial assistance.

“The P5K financial assistance we are giving to all Makatizens aims to help them alleviate the burden of paying their bills at this time when income for most is hard to come by. I was happy to hear stories on how Makatizens have put this help to good use by also investing in alternative sources of livelihood. I’m proud to say, maabilidad, masipag at maaasahan talaga ang mga Makatizens”, said Makati Mayor Abby Binay. 

One of those who were able to benefit from this partnership is Diana Oblino, a resident of Barangay Olympia. She and five other members of her household were able to receive P25,000 in cash, which they used to pay the pile of electricity and water bills which accumulated during the quarantine.

Not only that, they were also able to open a small sari-sari store to keep their money growing instead of spending it all in one go. 

“Because of the MAKA-tulong Program, we were able to build another source of income that would help us get through these trying times,” Oblino said. 

Oblino said the process of receiving was easy, because they only needed to wait until GCash sent them a notification saying that P5,000 was deposited to their e-wallets. 

“What a relief really, that in our ‘new normal’ – the time of social distancing and quarantine, Makati was able to lessen human-to-human contact and distribute cash through online platforms because of a project launched years ago,” she added.

The MAKA-tulong Program also helped Joeffrey Furo, who is among the first batch of beneficiaries, to use the financial aid as fresh capital for his e-loading business, small sari-sari store and computer repair shop. For Furo, the money came as a beacon of hope amid the crisis, since he was a person with disability (PWD) who had a wife and a child to support. His leg was amputated after he figured in a hit-and-run accident.  

Needless to say, the cash aid inspired many Makatizens to join the community of online food sellers. Rinalyn Binongo of Barangay West Rembo shared on Facebook how she used the money as added capital to expand her online food selling business.  

“We’re very happy to have inspired a significant number of Makatizens to pursue businesses to grow their money amid the pandemic. GCash hopes to extend this kind of assistance to other local governments to help lift the burden of Filipinos who have been greatly impacted by COVID-19, economic or otherwise,” said GCash Vice President for Enterprise Luigi Reyes. 

Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), which operates GCash, is part of the portfolio companies of 917Ventures, the largest corporate incubator in the Philippines wholly-owned by Globe Telecom Inc.

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