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Gov’t to forfeit unclaimed SBWS aid


Millions of pesos worth of small business wage subsidy (SBWS) payouts could be forfeited next week as the Department of Finance (DOF) reported that nearly 100,000 beneficiaries have yet to claim their cash grants from a money remittance center.

In a statement, Finance Assistant Secretary Antonio Lambino II reminded the employees who were notified to claim their two-month cash grants under SBWS program that they only have until this weekend to pick up their subsidies through the MLhuillier Kwarta Padala.

Lambino said the deadline for claiming the SBWS payouts from MLhuillier branches has already been extended to June 28 from the original cut-off date of June 10.

As of June 24, a total of 41,386 employees under the first tranche of the SBWS program and 56,978 employees for the second tranche have yet to claim their subsidies from MLhuillier.

“We are calling on these employees who were already notified to claim their subsidies from MLhullier to pick them up on or before June 28,” said Lambino, who represents the DOF in the SBWS interagency task force.

“Wage subsidies unclaimed after the said date shall be forfeited and shall revert to the government for use in other programs to fight COVID-19,” he added.

Each qualified worker received P5,000 to 8,000 per month for two months under the SBWS program.
As of June 24, the government has completed 99 percent of the payouts for both tranches of the SBWS program, which has benefited a total of 3.1 million workers of small businesses affected by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This means that more than P45.6 billion-worth of subsidies have been credited directly to more than three million beneficiaries in less than two months since the end of the application period in May 8,” Lambino said.

“What has allowed the government to quickly distribute the aid relatively smoothly was the use of automated processing and digital technologies in running the program,” he added.

Lambino explained that, by design, the SBWS program is largely automated and digital, with manual processing kept to a minimum.

The SBWS supports qualified employees of small businesses who did not get paid for at least two weeks because of the work stoppages resulting from the enhanced community quarantine and other COVID-19 containment measures.

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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