The Philippines: Over 3 million workers to get wage subsidy from gov’t

  • THE government is allocating PHP51bn for a wage subsidy program that would benefit 3.4 million Filipinos employed by small businesses affected by the lockdown in Luzon and other parts of the country.
  • President Rodrigo R. Duterte on 13 Apr 20 approved the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program wherein each eligible worker will receive PHP5,000 to PHP8,000, according to Cabinet Secretary Karlo Alexei B. Nograles.
  • Finance Undersecretary Karl Kendrick Chua said the SBWS program will prioritize 2.6 million workers whose employers have complied with Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Social Security System (SSS) regulations as they can easily be tracked and the claims automatically processed.
  • Mr. Chua said about 800,000 who work for noncompliant firms will also receive wage subsidies.
  • “Apart from the PHP205bn that the government is giving to the informal sector, or those with low-income, we are giving PHP51bn to the employees of small businesses,” Mr. Chua said. Small businesses are defined as those not belonging to the top 2,745 large taxpayers of the BIR.
  • The wage subsidy will cover two months, with the first tranche to be distributed from 1 – 15 May 20 and the second tranche will be given from 16 – 31 May 20.
  • To avail himself of the program, Mr. Nograles said the worker should have been employed by the company as of 1 Mar 20, and has not received a salary for the month.
  • All eligible workers will be covered except those that were on leave and those that already availed themselves of the unemployment benefits from the SSS. In addition, he said employees should not have been retrenched or resigned.

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