110,000 residents top up their consumption smartcards on 1st day

2020-07-28 02:06     Comment:0

About 110,000 residents went to top up their consumption subsidy smartcard yesterday, the first day of the procedure, according to a statement from Economic Services Bureau (DSE), as the government’s second phase subsidy scheme giving each resident 5,000 patacas to spend locally begins on Saturday.

In the first phase of the scheme, the government gave each resident 3,000 patacas to spend from May 1 to July 31 with a maximum daily spending set at 300 patacas. The scheme is part of the government’s effort to boost local consumption and stabilise the job market amid the ongoing adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Macau’s economy.

The 3,000 patacas in the first phase will not be carried forward into the second phase. If a resident does not spend it all by Friday, the money will revert to the public coffers, and then residents can top their cards up on Saturday.

For those who have spent all their 3,000 patacas, they can top their cards up now, but can only start spending the cash on Saturday.

To receive the 5,000 patacas, residents just need to place their cards over a Macau Pass reader installed at 190 service points which can be found on public administration premises, community association venues and bank branches. To top-up, residents do not need to present their ID cards.

Holders will have to spend the 5,000 patacas from Saturday to December 31, and the same as the first phase, they can only spend up to 300 patacas per day during the second phase.

A resident who topped up his card at an Areia Preta service point told The Macau Post Daily yesterday that the process of topping-up merely took “one second”, adding that it was very convenient.

‘No need to rush to top-up’

Pong Kai Fu, who heads DSE’s Research Department, told reporters during a media briefing at the Government Services Centre in Areia Preta yesterday that nearly 10,000 smartcards had been topped by 9:45 a.m. yesterday, adding that every top-up point was running smoothly.

Pong also said that a few residents whose cards still had some money on them couldn’t top up their cards. He advised residents to check the balance online, or check at the reader at any top-up point.

Pong called on residents not to rush to top-up their cards as they could do it any time in the months up to December.

“People can wait until their card balance is zero and then go to top it up at the service points on Saturday,” Pong said.

Ho Cheng Wa, who heads the Municipal Affairs Bureau’s (IAM) Department of Integrated Services and Quality Supervision, told reporters on the same occasion yesterday that officials allowed more than 100 people that were queuing outside the Government Services Centre in Areia Preta to top-up their smart cards from 8:10 a.m. yesterday, to wait inside the building.

The centre’s opening hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on weekends and public holidays. 

Pong Kai Fu, who heads the DSE’s Research Department, shows reporters how to top up their consumption smartcards by placing them over a reader at the Government Services Centre in Areia Preta yesterday. Photo: Prisca Tang

A resident tops up his consumption smartcard with the assistance of an official at the centre yesterday. Photo: Nicole Iun

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