Speech by PM Lee Hsien Loong at Launch of $130 Million CDC Vouchers Scheme on 13 December 2021 at Jurong Spring CC.
Mayors Low Yen Ling, Denise, Desmond, Alex, and Fahmi; Mr Yeo Hiang Meng, President, Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore; Community Partners, fellow residents, good afternoon to everybody.
Thank you for joining us today for the launch of the CDC Vouchers Scheme. We announced this in the Budget in February this year. It is part of the Household Support package to see families through the second year of the pandemic.
The fight against COVID-19 has been a long and winding one. The virus has surprised us multiple times, and we have had to adapt our response each time accordingly. It has been challenging for everyone, especially for our residents and our heartland businesses to keep up with the new policies and the changing situations. Thank you for bearing with us, and for your continued trust and support as we make our way through these difficult times.
Every Singaporean household will receive $100 worth of CDC vouchers. These are to express the Government’s appreciation for everyone’s solidarity during this period, and the vouchers should help to defray some of your daily expenses – food and essential household items and services. At the same time, this will also support our local heartland shops and workers and hawkers, who have been hard hit during this pandemic.
The vouchers will be available digitally, so that they are easier to use. I hope that you will find this digital approach useful. Merchants should be able to track their transactions better, and receive their payments faster and with less hassle. Residents too, can have the convenience and flexibility of digital vouchers.
For the past few months, CDCs have been working closely with government agencies and our community partners to design a digital voucher scheme that can provide a good user experience. They have reached out to heartland businesses to explain the scheme and how it works and to recruit people onto the scheme. We have so far onboarded close to 10,000 merchants so far to participate in the CDC Voucher Scheme, so consumers will have a wider range of outlets where they can use the vouchers.
I would like to thank Minister (CCY) Edwin Tong and the Mayors for guiding this project, as well as the PA, CDCs as well as all our community partners and agencies, for their hard work to get the digital CDC vouchers scheme up and running.
The CDC vouchers can be claimed by any member of the household, anytime and anywhere, through a digital platform called RedeemSG, and used by simply showing the digital voucher to participating merchants, and the merchants will scan your code and they will get paid.
I hope most merchants will welcome this new digital format, and find them easy to use. And residents too, even the older generation – many of our Ah Kongs and Ah Mas have picked up digital skills over the last two years.
But if you still find it difficult, there is no need to worry. There will be help available at all Community Centres and Clubs, SG Digital Community hubs, as well as selected Residents’ Committee (RC) / Residents’ Network (RN) centres in areas with a higher proportion of elderly residents.
If you are unable to access the vouchers digitally, for example if you do not have a smart phone, physical vouchers will be available at the Community Centres and Clubs. Meanwhile, the Silver Generation Office Ambassadors will conduct house visits to explain the voucher scheme to our seniors. And we will learn from this experience so that the next time we have such a scheme, it will be even simpler and more convenient for everyone. In this way, Singaporeans and especially seniors can be assured that every eligible household can benefit from the CDC vouchers.
We are starting to see encouraging signs on our COVID-19 journey. The surge in cases over the last three months is subsiding. We have protected our healthcare system and kept fatalities low. Now we are preparing for the impact of the Omicron variant. Booster shots of the vaccine will be a key part of our strategy.
We are not yet out of the woods, but we are confident that we can cope with Omicron, because with vaccinations and boosters, we are in a much stronger position today to deal with COVID-19. So I thank everyone once again for staying united and resilient in the face of COVID-19.
I hope the CDC vouchers are a small gesture of encouragement in these difficult times And that together as a society, we can take steps forward, step by step, find our way to living with the virus, and safely resume all the things that we love to do.
Now let me say a few words in Mandarin.
大家下午好! 今天, 我很高兴能和大家聚在这里，为社区发展理事会邻里购物券主持推行仪式。这次全国130万户家庭可以得到邻里购物券。每户家庭将获得100元数码形式的购物券，方便他们在邻里商店和小贩摊位使用。
公众可以在许多参与计划的邻里商店和小贩摊位使用这些购物券。 到目前为止，全国大约一万名邻里商家和小贩已经加入了这项计划。 在此，我要感谢大家的踊跃参与，让居民在使用购物券时有更多的选择。
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