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3M SME workers get P 44B in wage subsidies

By: - Reporter / @bendeveraINQ
/ 04:04 AM June 15, 2020

The government has extended more than P44 billion in wage subsidies to workers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, of which almost all of the over three million beneficiaries already received their money.

“As of June 11, around a month after the application deadline, payouts for both tranches of the program are at a combined 97.4-percent completion rate. For the first tranche, 3.05 million, or 98.8 percent of the 3.09 million qualified beneficiaries, have their [money] ready for withdrawal from their bank or PayMaya accounts or for pickup from MLhuillier Kwarta Padala outlets,” Assistant Finance Secretary and spokesperson Antonio Joselito Lambino II said in a statement, referring to the P51-billion small business wage subsidy program.

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“The remaining employees—around 40,000—are awaiting confirmation or requiring correction of their bank account numbers or cellphone numbers (for those who chose to receive their subsidy through PayMaya or MLhuillier). For the second tranche, 2.96 million, or 97.4 percent of beneficiaries, have their [subsidies] ready for withdrawal or pickup,” Lambino added.

“This means that more than P44 billion worth of subsidies for two months have been credited directly to the [Small Business Wage Subsidy, or SBWS] program’s intended beneficiaries in less than two months. What has allowed the government to quickly distribute the aid relatively smoothly was the use of automated processing and digital technologies in running the program,” Lambino said.

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“By design, the SBWS program is largely automated and digital, with manual processing kept to a minimum. Taking advantage of available technologies, cloud computing and the electronic databases of the Social Security System and the Bureau of Internal Revenue, the implementing agencies have been able to accurately target intended beneficiaries and quickly distribute the subsidy to millions of employees with zero face-to-face contact between the beneficiaries and government,” Lambino explained. INQ

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