BHP donates masks, hand sanitizers to Social Development Ministry
BHP Trinidad and Tobago has donated face masks and hand sanitizer to the Ministry of Social Development and Family Services (MSDFS) for frontline staff as well as those engaged in site visits for the verification of applications regarding rental assistance and income support.
On Tuesday, Permanent Secretary of the MSDFS Jacinta Bailey-Sobers received 1,000 face masks and boxes of sanitizer from BHP’s Manager of Corporate Affairs, Dr Carla Noel-Mendez. The masks are triple-layered, reusable and locally produced.
In her remarks, Dr Noel-Mendez commended the Executive and staff of the Ministry for its on-going efforts to bring relief to the thousands of vulnerable citizens who have been impacted by the stay-at-home restrictions. She also noted the necessity of the Ministry’s initiatives alongside those who are employed within the medical field and protective services.
Permanent Secretary Bailey-Sobers, in thanking BHP for their kind gesture, assured Dr Noel-Mendez that the supplies were timely and in direct support of all on-going efforts to efficiently and expeditiously bring relief to those who are genuinely in need at this time. She also took the opportunity to highlight that on occasions, the staff usually responsible for field assessments, are sometimes met with unsanitary and risky conditions and as such, the masks would be an invaluable incentive.
Meanwhile, following the implementation of stay-at-home restrictions on April 1, the MSDFS has received in excess of 900 applications for rental support in Trinidad. According to the Executive, ninety 90% of these are actively being processed and verified via telephone and house visits by staff. It said the house visits have become necessary to counter fraudulent claims that are being encountered daily.
“The Ministry is, therefore, making another appeal to applicants, to be honest in their declarations and mindful of the impact of untruthful or questionable claims on the overall system and timeline for rental assistance approvals,” the statement ended.