Coronavirus pandemic

Social service sector to get more help in new support package

Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said he received many good ideas from 30 social service organisations.
Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said he received many good ideas from 30 social service organisations.PHOTO: HENG SWEE KEAT/FACEBOOK

The upcoming Covid-19 support package will include ways to help the social service sector, said Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat yesterday.

Mr Heng said in a Facebook post that he received many good ideas from 30 social service organisations during a virtual meeting on Saturday ahead of his ministerial statement on Tuesday - announcing the fourth set of support measures in the light of the pandemic.

Mr Heng, who is also Finance Minister, said the discussion touched on how social service agencies can strengthen collaboration and capability building, and difficulties with fund-raising during the pandemic.

"The circuit breaker has accelerated the shift to digital, as more services are provided online. This highlighted both the potential and also the current constraints of going digital," he added.

In addition to looking at providing better support on Tuesday, the Government will work with the sector to "embrace digitalisation, accelerate transformation and scale up new capabilities", he added.

Social and Family Development Minister Desmond Lee, Community, Culture and Youth Minister Grace Fu and Minister in the Prime Minister's Office Indranee Rajah joined in the meeting.

Mr Heng noted: "We are making good progress towards building a more caring and inclusive society. We will build an even better tomorrow, with the strong support of social service agencies."

 
 

The Government earlier announced a total of around $63.7 billion in aid under three Covid-19 support packages.

President Halimah Yacob has given her assent to about $21 billion being drawn from the reserves to fund these packages.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2020, with the headline 'Social service sector to get more help in new support package'. Print Edition | Subscribe