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Union Bank of the Philippines (UnionBank) has been appointed by the government as one of six financial service providers (FSPs) that will enable the electronic payment of the second tranche of the Social Amelioration Program (SAP) subsidies for Filipinos hardest hit by the coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) crisis.

A multilateral agreement signing was conducted on June 30, 2020 among the six financial providers namely UnionBank, GCash, PayMaya, Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, Robinson’s Bank and Starpay, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development and Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) at the DSWD head office in Quezon City.

Under the MOA, LBP – which is serving as the main depository bank - will download funds to the FSPs’ funding accounts maintained with its Batasan branch or in other financial institutions based on the instruction and payroll documents provided by DSWD within 24 hours from receipt of payroll documents.

On the other hand, the FSPs will credit the emergency subsidies into the beneficiaries’ restricted transactional or nominated accounts within 24 hours upon receipt of the funds from LBP.

UnionBank was allocated 1.36 million beneficiaries from the 7.124 million total number of SAP recipients – the largest among the three participating banks and the third biggest allotment among the six financial service providers.

UnionBank will speed up the release of the cash subsidies - set to start next week - in cooperation with its digital bank EON Bank, fintech arm UBX and fintech partner Dragonpay.

Prepaid accounts will be opened through EON, after which UnionBank will facilitate cash-out through its rural bank partners under UBX’s i2i platform, and remittance centers of UBX and Dragonpay partners nationwide.

UnionBank president and CEO Edwin Bautista said this latest undertaking is in response to the government’s call to provide a safe, efficient and transparent distribution of the emergency subsidy under the SAP, and aligned with UnionBank’s goal to be readily accessible to the most number of Filipinos.

The bank passed the criteria set forth by the DSWD in the selection of the financial service providers for SAP. On top of its 209 branches, UnionBank’s nationwide reach is complemented by over a hundred rural banks and other financial institutions through the i2i platform, as well as over 11,000 outlets of its remittance partners across the country.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas provided technical assistance to the DSWD in identifying the qualified FSPs that will undertake the digital payment.


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