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Gov’t working on P45-B wage subsidy program for private sector employees

The Duterte administration is set to implement a wage subsidy program for private sector employees affected by the community quarantines aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

In his third weekly report to Congress, President Rodrigo Duterte said the Bureau of Treasury is working with the Social Security System to implement the proposed P45-billion wage subsidy assistance to “employees of eligible businesses.”

Duterte submitted the report on Monday in compliance with the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act (Republic Act 11469), which gave him additional powers in order to effectively respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III said members of the middle class who work for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) will receive cash aid from the government.

"People who are working for the MSMEs definitely will receive a cash support and we believe that they will be around 3.5 million people involved there, and the total cost will be between P35 and P51 billion, so that part of the middle class, yes, they will receive support," Dominguez said in an interview with CNN Philippines on Monday.

According to a 2018 study by the Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS), a nonstock, nonprofit government corporation that serves as the government's primary socioeconomic policy think tank, 40% of the country's population belong to the middle-income class.

It categorized the middle class as those who have a monthly family income of between P19,040 to P114,240 at 2017 prices.

Duterte earlier ordered the economic team to look the possibility of including the middle class in the government's cash subsidy program. —LDF, GMA News