155,672 tourism sector workers receive first tranche of wage subsidy

Published May 5, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

A total of 155,672 employees low in April from 4,290 tourism-related enterprises received the first tranche of their cash grants under the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBSW) program – a joint program of the Department of Finance (DOF), Social Security System (SSS), and Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) – as of May 4.

Since March, the Department of Tourism (DOT) has been seeking the assistance of various national government agencies to extend their services to the tourism sector, one of the hardest hit industries of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat (CZAR DANCEL / MANILA BULLETIN)
Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo Puyat

“We are grateful to theDOF, SSS, and BIR for providing our affected tourism workers with a monthly wage subsidy for two months. With tourism hampered, and eventually closed during the first five months of the year, these cash grants will go a long way in helping them weather this period while travel restrictions are still in effect,” said Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

As of May 4, the SSS – through its partnership with the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) – has uploaded to PESOnet or DBP Pera Padala, through MLhuillier Financial Services, the partner-remittance center of the SSS, the following beneficiaries: 155,126 employees of 4,723 employers in the hotel and restaurant industry; and 546 employees of 17 employers in the air transport industry.

The DOF, in a recent press release, said the SBWS aims to provide a monthly wage subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 for two months to around 3.4 million eligible employees of small businesses affected by the economic standstill as a result of separate quarantine measures imposed nationwide in March to stop the further spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

The subsidy depends on the minimum wage levels in their respective regions.