Sat, Feb 07, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Unclaimed vouchers available

PICK UP LINE: Those eligible who have not collected their consumer vouchers yet can do so at their local post offices this afternoon or from 8:30am to 5:30pm tomorrow

By Shelley Shan and Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTERS

The second stage of consumer voucher distribution starts today. Eligible people who have not yet received their NT$3,600 in consumer vouchers can pick them up at designated post offices.

The Ministry of the Interior said that recipients must present their national identification card, personal stamp and notification letter to receive the vouchers, adding that those who do not wish to pick up their vouchers in person can give their ID, personal stamp and letter to someone else who can collect the vouchers on their behalf.

Chunghwa Post Co president Hu Sheue-yun (胡雪雲) said a total of 1,203 authorized post offices would start distributing vouchers from 1:30pm to 5:30pm. Tomorrow, the distribution time will be from 8:30am to 5:30pm. Those who are still unable to collect them this weekend can pick them up during regular office hours on week days. The deadline for collecting the vouchers is April 30.

Hu said post offices would designate windows for the distribution of consumer vouchers.

A total of NT$19.8 million (US$587,000) in vouchers were unaccounted for after voucher distribution on Jan. 18, when 14,202 centers nationwide dispensed more than NT$82 million to around 92 percent of eligible recipients.

The ministry said at a press conference yesterday that the total value of missing vouchers was NT$11.1 million.

“After the ministry’s first review on missing vouchers that ended on Jan. 23, the total value of missing vouchers decreased from NT$19.8 million to NT$12.2 million,” Vice Minister Chien Tai-lang (簡太郎) said. “As we completed a second review [that] ended at 12pm today, another NT$1,181,100 was deducted from the missing value.”

Chien said the adjustments in numbers were because the ministry found that some distribution center staffers had mistakenly handed out vouchers without making sure the recipient had properly stamped the list with their own personal chop. At some centers, clerks had also handed out extra vouchers by mistake, and many recipients had returned the extra vouchers, he said.

“We’ve recovered only NT$1.1 million from the second recount, which is about NT$600,000 short of the estimated amount of NT$1.8 million — but we tried our best,” Chien said.

When asked if Minister Liao Liou-yi (廖了以) would cover the shortfall from his own pocket as he promised earlier, Chien said Liao is a “man of his word,” but added that the insurance would help cover part of the loss as well. “We’ll wait until after April 30 when the second phase of distribution is over to talk with the insurance companies about how much they will cover.”

ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY CNA

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