The Department of Finance (DOF) disclosed a P 51-billion wage subsidy program for middle-class workers employed by small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
DOF Assistant Secretary Antonio Joselito Lambino II announced the program during the Laging Handa public briefing which aired over state-owned PTV Thursday.
Lambino said that the program aims to financially support around 3.4 million workers in the formal sector employed by some 1.5 million small businesses during its temporary closure, or have implemented skeletal force in line with the government’s COVID-19 response.
Accordingly, the government will provide a wage subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 per eligible worker based on the monthly regional minimum wage.
Below are the regions and their corresponding wage subsidy per worker:
- NCR – P8,00
- CAR – P5,500
- I – P5,500
- II – P5,500
- III – P8,000
- IV-A – P8,000
- IV-B – P5,000
- V – P5,000
- VI – P6,000
- VII – P6,000
- VIII – P5,000
- IX – P5,000
- X – P6,000
- XI – P6,000
- XII – P5,000
- CARAGA – P5,000
- BARMM – P5,000
Businesses who are eligible for the program
- ELIGIBLE: Small businesses that are not part of the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR) Large Taxpayer Service (LTS) list. Scroll down below to know how to verify LTS.
- NOT ELIGIBLE: Those employees working from home or those who are part of the skeleton workforce, as well as on leave for the entire ECQ with or without pay. The following aforementioned were already part of the SSS unemployment benefit recipients.
- NOT ELIGIBLE: Those who have settled or in-process for SSS final claims are also not eligible for the SBWS program.
Question: Can those who got P5,000 cash aid from DOLE’s CAMP still receive SBWS?
Answer: Yes. HOWEVER, they can only get only one tranche of the SBWS aid since their one-time P5,000 CAMP benefit is already considered one tranche.
Modes of payment
The cash assistance can be released through the following means:
- Withdrawal via employee’s SSS UMID cards enrolled as ATM
- Withdrawal from employee’s bank account for PESOnet participating banks
- Employee’s Union Bank Quick Card (partnership with SSS)
- Employee’s E-wallet such as PayMaya
- Cash pick-up arrangement through remittance transfer companies
Application & cash aid distribution period
The application period for the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program will begin from April 16 to 30, 2020.
For small business:
- Non-essential small businesses that are forced to stop operations (i.e., temporary closure or suspension of work);
- Quasi-essential small businesses that are allowed to operate a skeleton force. Allowed to apply on behalf of those employees who are not able to work and did not get paid during the ECQ;
- Employers in areas where other forms of quarantine;
- Small businesses must maintain the employment status of all eligible employee beneficiaries before the ECQ and throughout the SBWS period. Note: this will be reviewed during the monitoring and evaluation stage.
Failure to comply with the aforementioned conditions shall result in the employer refunding to the government the wage subsidy amount.
- Must be employed and active as of March 1, 2020, but unable to work during the ECQ; did not get paid for at least two weeks during the temporary closure or suspension work.
- Should be either of the following status: regular, probationary, regular, seasonal, project-based, or fixed-term.
- Employees cannot resign during the enhanced community quarantine period.
The cash aid will be distributed starting from May 1 to 15, 2020 for the first tranche payout. The second tranche will take place from May 16 to 21, 2020.
However, the schedule may change depending on the timing of the ECQ.
On verifying non-LTS small businesses
A small business – whether a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship – should visit the BIR’s website www.bir.gov.ph and click the “SBWS” icon on the agency’s homepage.
Enter the small business’ nine-digit Tax Identification Number (TIN) in the SBWS page’s search field. It is recommended that the applicant must check its Certificate of Registration to ensure the accuracy of the information they will provide.
After clicking “Search” the employer or applicant will see if they are qualified for the wage subsidy program. If the applicant is qualified the BIR webpage will flash a “green prompt.”
The applicant should copy the passcode provided by the BIR’s system as this is needed in the next step of application with the Social Security System (SSS).
You Might Also Want To Read: HOW TO apply for Small Business Wage Subsidy Program with SSS
You Might Also Want To Read: HOW TO avail for DOLE-AKAP for OFWs financial assistance
- Cordero, T. April 17, 2020. STEP-BY-STEP How to avail of the govt’s Small Business Wage Subsidy program. GMA News Online. Retrieved on April 17, 2020, from www.gmanetwork.com