RECIPIENTS of food vouchers from the Ministry of Social Welfare risk losing their allowances if they fail to collect them within the specified time.
The ministry said the $30 monthly food vouchers would be returned to headquarters if recipients failed to collect them within 30 days of issue, and if not requested for by the district/divisions over the next two months, voucher books would be cancelled and allowances terminated.
Acting permanent secretary Dr Josefa Koroivueta reiterated in a statement that for those recipients who had not collected their vouchers on time, their payments would cease from next month.
He said monthly allowances for the respective recipients would be put on hold pending full verification and that the funds would only be released after cases were reviewed.
Dr Koroivueta expressed concern that divisional and district offices had reported that for this year a total of 1287 voucher books remain uncollected for the period January to March.
"The uncollected food vouchers means while funds are committed, they are not being utilised against the cash flow that the ministry has for this allocation," he said.
"The Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF) and government pensioners are required to be re-certified by submitting pension renewal forms on a quarterly basis.
"Similarly, the ministry relies on the collection of voucher books every three months as a form of recertification and verification. Uncollected voucher books will be cancelled and funds diverted to assist more needy clients in our pending list.
"While collecting the food vouchers, recipients must provide identification cards and in case of third party transactions, evidence must be produced that the primary recipient is still alive.
"Otherwise, food vouchers will not be issued and allowances will be put on hold."