Go lauds gov’t subsidy for MSMEs

Published April 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Mario Casayuran

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has lauded the positive response of the Executive Branch to numerous appeals for more support to the middle class.

enator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (FACEBOOK /MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (FACEBOOK /MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

The government is expected to release soon the approved guidelines for the implementation of the small businesses wage subsidy (SBWS) program to help micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) cope with, support the middle class and mitigate the adverse effects on the economy caused by the current health emergency.

“Malaking bahagi ng ating ekonomiya ang mga MSMEs, at habang tumatagal ang COVID-19 situation sa bansa, kailangan ding suportahan ng ating gobyerno ang kanilang kapakanan para buhayin ang maliliit na negosyo at maiahon ang mga empleyado nila mula sa krisis na ito,’’ said Senator Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee. (MSMEs comprise a major part of our economy, and due to the COVID-19 situation in the country, the government has to support them and their employees.)

Senator Go noted that with the assistance that would be provided to MSMEs, owners can, in turn, help their employees who are mostly from the lower middle class, especially with the extension of the enhanced community quarantine in Luzon and in many parts of the country.

Through the SBWS, the DOF will set the guidelines and determine MSMEs nationwide who are eligible for the subsidy. Each eligible worker belonging to the low- to medium-middle class under the identified affected business will be provided with a wage subsidy between P5,000 to P8,000.

According to the Department of Finance (DOF), the subsidy will run for two months, unless the enhanced community quarantine is lifted earlier. The program will benefit over 3.4 million workers and will cost P51 billion.

Employers will be submitting applications on behalf of their respective employees.

According to the DOF, the Social Security System (SSS) will be accepting applications until April 30, 2020.

In order to be qualified for the program, small businesses should “maintain the employment status of all eligible beneficiaries before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) and throughout the SBWS period” and that “employees cannot resign during the ECQ period,” according to program description posted on DOF’s website.

Go, a member of the Joint Congressional Oversight Committee monitoring the progress of the implementation of the ‘’Bayanihan to Heal as One Act,’’ has previously cited the need to push the SBWS to support MSME employees.

In previous statements, Go said: “Nagpapasalamat po tayo sa ating finance agencies dahil dininig nila ang ating apela na suportahan ang mga MSMEs. Tulungan natin ang mga ito na buhayin ang kanilang negosyo dahil sila rin ang bubuhay sa ating ekonomiya lalo na kapag natapos na ang krisis na ito.’’ (We thank our finance agencies for hearing our appeals that MSMEs need help. We must help the MSMEs that eventually improve the economy, especially when the current medical emergency is over).”

“Importante ang suporta na ito para mapagaan ang pinapasan ng mga negosyo at ng mga empleyado nila. Kung gusto nating mas mabilis manumbalik ang sigla ng ating ekonomiya, mas mainam na ngayon pa lang ay tulungan na natin ang maliliit na negosyante na makabangon,’’ he added. (It is important that the burden being shouldered by businesses and their employees should be lessened. It is important that government should help the small businesses if we want our economy to improve.)