Small business workers will still receive gov’t assistance – IATF

Published April 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Argyll Cyrus Geducos

Despite the suspension of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE’s) emergency subsidy for formal workers, employees of small businesses will continue to receive assistance from the government through the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program of the Department of Finance.

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

In his Friday presser, Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the DOF’s SBWS aims to give cash aid to 3.4 million employees of 1.5 million small businesses nationwide that are affected by the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

The program, which will have a budget of P51 billion, will give an emergency subsidy ranging from P5,000 to P8,000 per employee every month for two months.

According to Nograles, even those who already received cash assistance from DOLE’s COVID Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) can still be included in the new program. However, they will only receive a month’s worth of subsidy.

How to apply

Small business employers or those not included in the Bureau of Internal Revenue’s (BIR’s) Large Taxpayers Service can apply on behalf of their employees through the Social Security System (SSS) website using their my.SSS accounts.

Businesses that were forced to close down due to the (ECQ) may also apply, as well as those allowed to operate on a skeleton force.

“Lahat ng apektadong small businesses ay tutulungan, ngunit ang unang makakatanggap ng tulong na ito ay ang mga negosyong sumusunod sa patakaran ng SSS at BIR (We will help all affected small businesses but those abiding by SSS and BIR guidelines will be prioritized),” he said.

The application period for the SBWS is from April 16 to 30, while the distribution of the first tranche will be from May 1 to 15.

According to Nograles, the second tranche may be released between May 16 to 31 depending on the ECQ.


Nograles said one qualified for the program are all active employees of the said businesses who have not gotten their salaries for more than two weeks due to the temporary closure of their businesses.

He added that those under a contract status are qualified.

However, those who will receive assistance under the SBWS Program cannot be terminated by their employer nor can they resign during the ECQ period. (Argyll Cyrus B. Geducos)#