The fund’s offices have seen long queues since early January when local workers started to recover from Covid-19.
Yesterday, the Taipa Government Service Center saw about 15 people queue for inquiries and applications. Because there is no online application channel, the fund has employed hotels’ “express check-out” tactic to accelerate submissions by placing a letter box to collect submitted documents at the center’s entrance.
When the subsidies were first announced, people flocked to FSS offices to inquire about application procedures, required documents and prerequisite conditions. According to public broadcaster Radio Macau Chinese channel, at midday on Jan. 6, over 20 people queued at the fund’s headquarters either to make inquiries or to submit application forms.
At the time, applicants had already raised complaints with the local broadcaster about the lack of an online application platform.
Despite praising the fund’s workers for being flexible with the “express submission” tactic, an applicant still complained about the lack of online channels. The applicant, surnamed Lou, also complained that information was unclear. Information about the scheme was not posted on the fund’s website.
Had the website had sufficient information, the application procedure would have been smoother, she said.
According to government estimates, about 60% of the local population has contracted SARS-CoV-2 in the current outbreak, which equates to about 360,000 people.
In the past three years, the government has introduced several digital platforms to the public, such as the health code and Covid test booking system. In a press release on Jan. 17, the FSS recommended people make their fund instalment using digital channels to avoid crowds. AL