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DOF begins release of wage subsidies

By CHINO S. LEYCO

The Department of Finance (DOF) has began the release of the cash grants for small businesses employees who are adversely affected by the work stoppage resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

dof building 3

In a statement, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II said yesterday that more than 115,000 employees of small businesses have already received their salary subsidies amounting ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 each as of Friday.

Lambino said that half of these beneficiaries received their cash grants on April 30, or a day ahead of the May 1 to 15 payout schedule for the first tranche of the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program.

A joint program of the DOF, Social Security System (SSS) and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), the SBWS aims to provide a monthly wage subsidy of ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 each for two months to around 3.4 million eligible employees of small businesses.

The subsidy ranges from ₱5,000 to ₱8,000 per tranche for every beneficiary, depending on the minimum wage levels in their respective regions.

“As of May 1, the SSS, through its partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), has released wage subsidies for a total of 115,782 employees of small businesses,” Lambino said.

“Another 106,000 beneficiaries who chose to receive the subsidy through MLhuillier are being notified via text message that their cash is ready for pickup. For 9,782 of them, the cash has been deposited directly to their bank or e-wallet accounts,” he added.

MLhuillier Financial Services is the partner-remittance center of the SSS.

Over the past few days, Lambino said the SSS was able to process the submissions of around 76,915 employers that resulted in the early release of the subsidy.

“The electronic application and automated payout systems definitely made the release of benefits faster than programs that use manual processing,” Lambino explained.

The DOF, SSS, and BIR had earlier announced on their Facebook pages that employees picking up their cash subsidy through the MLhuillier must present the text message they received from the SSS along with valid government-issued identification documents.

All Valid IDs to be presented must be original, photo-bearing, unexpired and signed by the respective beneficiaries.

Small business operators have until May 8, 2020 to submit their applications using one of three methods.

The first is through the employer’s My.SSS account on the SSS website and the second is via an E-form submission through a secure site, for eligible employers with email addresses on file.

The third is via Microsoft Excel file upload to sbws.sss.gov.ph. The third application method was launched by the SSS on April 28 in an effort to make the application process even simpler for small businesses.

The SBWS program is part of the government’s interventions to support vulnerable groups and individuals, including micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs), which employ the majority of Filipinos.


Source: Manila Bulletin (https://business.mb.com.ph/2020/05/03/dof-begins-release-of-wage-subsidies/)

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