Manila digitizes allowance distribution for senior high, PLM, UdM students

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 19 2019 01:00 AM

MANILA - Students enrolled in the capital’s public senior high schools and universities will receive their monthly stipend from the local government via cash cards starting next year after the city signed an agreement with GCash, one of the country’s largest online payments company, Wednesday.

It will be easier and cheaper for students to get their allowances through mobile wallets than to get the money every month from the city hall, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said in a press conference.

Under the capital’s policy, each Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and Universidad de Manila student is entitled to receive a P1,000 monthly stipend, provided that he or she does not incur failing marks or commit misconduct in school.

Senior high school students enrolled in Manila’s public schools will each receive a P500 allowance every month.

“It also benefits the city tremendously because you can pay for city services using GCash as well,” Globe President Ernest Cu told reporters.

The cash card for students has been implemented in Makati City, where public school pupils are also entitled to allowances, he said.

Cu said it is important for local governments to partner with mobile payment companies to “welcome students to the world of financial services.”

“Banks could not cater to this segment because of their transaction costs,” he said, noting that banks require higher maintaining balances and service fees.

Mobile wallets charge at lower prices because these are not based in physical establishments that require upkeep and maintenance.

“We know how to deal with the tingi-tingi system because we know how the pricing has evolved over the years,” Cu said.

The city government of Manila earlier tapped PayMaya, a rival online payment service, to provide cashcards for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and solo parents in the capital.

Moreno said he prefers to have transactions with several companies, instead of relying on one service provider.

“Hinihikayat ko silang magpagalingan,” the mayor said.

“Who will benefit from the competition? Making delivery of services more efficient?” he said. “Pag sila ay nagpagalingan, ito ay kapakinabangan ng mga taga-lungsod ng Maynila.”