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DOF extends application period for small biz wage subsidy until May 8

The Department of Finance on Friday extended the application period for the P 51-billion wage subsidy program for middle class workers employed by small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

In an advisory, the DOF said the application period for the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) program is extended until May 8.

The original application period was from April 16 to 30, 2020.  But due to technical issues with the Social Security System’s (SSS) website the deadline has been extended.

Applications for the wage subsidy program are undertaken by the employers on behalf of their employees in the SSS’s system.

Eligible employers may use one of two methods to apply for the program on behalf of their employees, the DOF said.

Also, the DOF said that instructions on the application have been sent via email to SBWS-eligible employers, whose email addresses are on file with the SSS.

“If you are an SBWS-eligible employer and have not received an email, please proceed to the second method,” the DOF said.

Another method is the regular application process via employers’ My.SSS accounts.

For the step-by-step process, click on this link: How to avail of the cash aid for the SBWS. 

The SBWS program covers around 3.4 million workers in the formal sector, employed by some 1.5 million businesses that are either forced to shut down or can only operate under skeletal force because of the Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine or other restrictions imposed in various parts of the country due to the health emergency.

Coming in tranches, the government will provide a wage subsidy of P5,000 to P8,000 per eligible worker based on the monthly regional minimum wage.

The first tranche of payout will be from May 1 to 15, 2020 while the second tranche will be from May 16 to 31, 2020.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday extended the enhanced community quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Metro Manila, Central Luzon and CALABARZON until May 15. 

Duterte also accepted the recommendation of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to extend until May 15 the ECQ in similarly high-risk areas Pangasinan, Benguet, Mindoro island, Albay and Catanduanes.

The ECQ will also be imposed until May 15 in Antique, Iloilo, Cebu and Cebu City, Aklan and Capiz in the Visayas and Davao del Norte, Davao City and Davao de Oro in Mindanao. These are also considered high-risk in connection with the spread of COVID-19. —Ted Cordero/LBG, GMA News