Saturday stimulus postponed

A regular $50 tala stimulus giveaway at the E.F.K.S. Youth Hall, Sogi and TATTE Building will not take place this Saturday, the Samoa Bureau of Statistics has advised.

In the past month, hundreds of people have flocked to the two venues to pick up their $50 tala as part of the Government's COVID-19 stimulus package and in exchange for registering for the national census. 

But in a signed notice by the Bureau’s Head Statistician, Aliimuamua Malaefini Faasalaina, the Office said the programme will not happen as staff have begun to return to villages to collect registrations. 

Staff are covering more villages in Upolu, Manono and Apolima.

Another date for those yet to collect their $50 and give their details and pictures taken will be set before October ends, the notice reads.

Most were at work and school while others had other commitments when the Office visited their homes to take records of households as part of the pre-census and national I.D. projects.

The pre-census survey is an exercise in preparation for the next national population census scheduled for next year.

Meanwhile, the National I.D. has been in the pipeline since 2017 but hit a snag due to funding shortfall until it received a full tranche of funding from the World Bank in 2018.

The National Identification Initiative will improve the delivery of public services by replacing voter identification and medical identification, and other services including Samoa National Provident Fund Identification, the Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Dr. Sailele Malielegaoi has said. 

“The current system of furnishing identification depending on different sources of documents for verification, which are not limited to birth certificates are easily infiltrated by the criminal minds,” Tuilaepa further reiterated.

“But if we have our own electronic identification, security will be difficult to breach.”

Tuilaepa also noted the normality of families choosing their own last names, which is something Ministries have had problems with for years with unmatched identities on different Government systems.

“The more surnames a person can use, the higher the chance for them to manipulate systems, commit fraudulent acts and theft,” he said.

But with a single system of national identification to record and track every Samoan, such irregularities can be identified.

In 2019, the project was jump started by the Samoa Bureau of Statistics under Cabinet directive which led to the recruiting of the consultation company to build Samoa’s National I.D. system.

A Norwegian Consultation company has been contracted to work with the statistics bureau and the Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology.


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