Welfare recipients can now register with SKN online

James Kon

Members of the public who are in need of the Monthly Welfare Assistance (BKB) from the Community Development Department (JAPEM) under the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) or the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) can now register with the National Welfare System (SKN) at www.skn.gov.bn.

According to the previous statement released by the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE), by the command of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, effective July 15, the system can be accessed by those who wish to apply for the assistance, BKB, administered by JAPEM and for the Zakat fund, Asnaf Fakir dan Miskin, under the MUIB.

The system was developed for the MCYS in collaboration with the MoFE, Ministry of Religious Affairs (MoRA), Ministry of Education (MoE) and Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah with the aim to align the processes involved in the provision of assistance by respective agencies.

The SKN is set to help enhance cooperation in information sharing through the establishment of a centralised database, in which such information can then be used to improve the effectiveness of other assistance programmes available in the country.

It is part of the government’s efforts to bring welfare recipients out of poverty and to ensure assistance is provided for the needy.

Other objectives include helping the government make assessments in a more transparent manner and ensuring there are no oversights in the distribution of welfare assistance.

The SKN will use the national criteria as a baseline for assessing the eligibility of applicants, including aligning the use of the Minimum Cost of Basic Needs (KMKA) to ascertain each applicant’s poverty level.

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin in a press conference on June 22 assured the public that the system will provide a comprehensive picture of the country’s welfare ecosystem in the bid to attain transparency and clarity without any omissions or oversights in terms of the assistance distribution.

The system, the minister said, “is capable of creating a demographic and background profile for the applicants and their families, as well as the types of assistance available to them.

“In addition, the system will create a map of the welfare recipients for analysis and appropriate intervention, including the management of unemployment and job seekers as well as life skills of applicants and their dependents to end the poverty cycle”.

Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Awang Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said 9,451 family heads are currently receiving assistance, 5,668 of which are receiving the BKB from JAPEM and the rest from MUIB.

Starting July 15, new registrations and applications for assistance or the updating of profiles for existing recipients can be done online. Meanwhile, other forms of assistance, such as old-age pension, disability allowance, food ration, housing application, the Temporary Shelter Centre and Miftahun Najaah Scheme, are expected to be included in the next phase of the SKN.

To join the SKN, applicants will need to have a valid email account for registration and verification purposes.