The hashtag #ทำไมไม่ได้5พัน (Why Didn’t I Get 5,000 baht) is trending on Twitter today, in response to the government’s เราไม่ทิ้งกัน (No One Left Behind) campaign.
Many people have taken to Twitter to express their frustration for being disqualified, but insisting that they deserve their shares.
Apparently, to disqualify someone, the system just has to say, you’re a farmer.
Here are two people who were disqualified, because the system said they were farmers. But they said they’re not.
“I’m confused. I worked at a spa. I’m an employee in a business that was ordered to close down on March 18. But I was told I’m a farmer. What?” said Twitter user @KaimmookKm.
“I’m a freelance working in TV production. No more production means no more income. I filled in all the correction information. But was disqualified as a farmer. That really hurts. Not hurt because I was disqualified. But hurt because they didn’t really check my information,” said @BeeThammarak.
Here’s someone who’s disqualified, because the person is a student, even if in the informal education sector (non-accredited institution). Apparently, working and studying does not qualify as hardship.
“I didn’t get it. I was so sure I’m qualified. I filled in all the correct information. I’m a waitstaff. I worked full-time at the mall. I have all the papers. But I’m disqualified, because I’m also a student, even though I study in the informal education sector. I do both study and work. I’m frustrated,” said @5jluzajlBLrhLrG.
It’s like you have a broken leg and “Doctor No One Left Behind” just put a band-aid on it.
March 18 was the official announcement for the closure of many business venues. It wasn’t until April 8, when the people first received their 5,000 baht. That’s 20 days after. Nine million people will receive the sum for the next three months. But over 24 million people registered.
Do all 24 million people need the money? The answer is a question in return: Is everyone in the country affected by COVID-19?
Is the scheme well thought out? Originally, it was meant for three million people over three months. Then it was changed to nine million people over six months. Then it was changed “half-way” back to nine millions over three months.
You are required to register online. But many of those poorest who need help the most, and need it most urgently, do not have internet access.
From the start of the scheme, the government said it uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to determine qualification. But a Krung Thai Bank executive said AI wasn’t used to design the program. As to how all the mistakes happened, he said that’s under the government management, he doesn’t know.
At the end of the day, registering for the scheme is a matter of ”passing the test”. Submission of proof is not required, just have to put down the right answer. But then again, for many people, they put down the right answer, but get told they are farmers, and hence disqualified.
There are 10 categories of people automatically disqualified from the 5,000 baht scheme.
- Under 18 years old.
- School and university students.
- Those who didn’t have a job before COVID-19.
- Those who receive no-employment welfare from social security.
- Government workers.
- Online business owners/shops.
- Construction workers.
The government is in the process of rolling out the 1.99 trillion baht stimulus package, which could be enough to help all sectors and rehabilitate the Thai economy, according to our talk with the Dr. Thanawat Phonwichai, president of the University of Thai Chamber of Commerce,
However, it depends on when the virus will be contained, when businesses will resume and—of course—how effective government measures will be.