Parliamentary Question by Dr Intan Azura Mokhtar:
To ask the Minister for Finance (a) whether an update can be provided on the Pioneer Generation Office's outreach efforts towards seniors in the current third wave of engagement; and (b) whether there are enough PG ambassadors to carry out the outreach efforts to our seniors.
Parliamentary Reply by Minister for Finance, Mr Heng Swee Keat:
1. The Pioneer Generation Office (PGO) was established in August 2014 to oversee the Pioneer Generation (PG) Ambassadors Programme. PG Ambassadors, who are volunteers, carry out personalised outreach to Pioneers and their caregivers to explain the various government schemes.
2. In August 2016, PGO extended its outreach to 90,000 more Singaporean citizens aged 65 and above (in addition to only Pioneers), and began its third wave of engagement through its Support Schemes for Seniors (SFS) programme. This programme aims to help seniors understand relevant Government schemes beyond the Pioneer Generation Package and Medishield Life. These schemes include the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS), Silver Support Scheme (SSS) and GST Voucher scheme.
3. Between August 2016 and September 2017, the PG Ambassadors successfully engaged close to 350,000 seniors, or more than two-thirds of the total senior population. PGO also supported the Community Networks for Seniors (CNS) pilot in Tampines, Marine Parade and Chua Chu Kang GRCs. In the three pilot sites, the PG Ambassadors referred more than 800 unique seniors to relevant agencies for follow-up. These cases are seniors with multiple needs that require case management.
4. PGO has over 3,000 trained PG Ambassadors. Presently, the pool of volunteers is sufficient to maintain its engagement activities. In anticipation of a higher volume of engagement in the future due to the ageing population, PGO is actively recruiting more volunteers by establishing new partnerships with partner agencies such as the National Volunteering and Philanthropy Council (NVPC), Council for Third Age (C3A) and RSVP Singapore. We hope that more people who are keen or interested to help in reaching out to our seniors will step forward as PG Ambassadors.