Govt uses many channels to reach out31 Mar 2009
MR TAY Kian Tong, in his letter on March 18 ('The needy need to know'), asked whether there was sufficient outreach to explain various government assistance schemes to the population and made useful observations.
The Government uses many channels to reach different segments of the population, including personalised letters as Mr Tay suggested.
For major assistance schemes, wide and sustained publicity is done through the mass media (including radio) and government websites. Posters and banners on various schemes are also put up periodically at prominent places such as void decks and community centres to inform citizens of assistance schemes available or remind them to sign up. In addition, mailers and personalised letters are also sent to individual households. Citizens would have received their GST Credits notification letters last month, which also showed the various household benefits that they stand to receive this year. Households will also soon receive an informational flier on the various benefits that they can receive from the Resilience Package.
In addition, targeted approaches are made to reach out to more vulnerable Singaporeans. Roadshows and briefings are organised for grassroots leaders and resident groups, who will in turn help the needy in their neighbourhood by making house visits, for example to help low- income and elderly Singaporeans sign up for their GST Credits/Senior Citizens' Bonus.
To promote schemes like the Workfare Income Supplement (WIS), roadshows have been organised at community centres and heartland locations to better reach out to residents and help them sign up. Updated fliers which contain general information on WIS and WIS Special Payments this year are also available now, and community centres will make them readily accessible to those who request for them.
Any Singaporean who needs more information or assistance can also contact the community development councils (CDCs), family service centres (FSCs) and the various grassroots organisations for help. They can call the toll-free 24-hour ComCare Call hotline on 1800-222-0000 where our staff will help refer them to the appropriate social assistance agencies. To make sure that more vulnerable Singaporeans are aware of such avenues to seek help, we are planning to put up permanent signage on ComCare Call by mid-2009.
We thank Mr Tay for his comments and would like to assure him that the Government is committed to enhancing our outreach efforts and will continue to work with the grassroots in making information on government schemes easily accessible, especially for those in greatest need.
CHIN SAU HO
DIRECTOR (CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND SERVICES)
MINISTRY OF FINANCE
FARAH ABDUL RAHIM (MS)
DIRECTOR (CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS)
MINISTRY OF MANPOWER
CHOO LEE SEE (MRS)
DIRECTOR (COMCARE AND SOCIAL SUPPORT DIVISION)
MINISTRY OF COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT YOUTH & SPORTS