The focus of the Philippine government to the poorest of the poor sparked an issue with middle-class workers. Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla sent an open letter to President Rodrigo Duterte about helping the middle-class workers gain funds.
With this, our dearest President said that he will do what he can to provide this. He admitted that the funds of the government is not enough to suffice all the people under the spectrum of the poor but he understands that the middle class workers need financial support and assistance too.
What are Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs)?
In order for you to know if you’ll be getting this wage subsidy for middle class workers from the government, you first have to understand what MSMEs are. The Senate Congress of the Philippines defined MSMEs as:
Any business activity or enterprise engaged in industry, agri-business and/or services that has: (1) an asset size (less land) of up to P100 million; and (2) an employment size with less than 200 employees.”
As of the year 2010, there were a total of 777,687 business enterprises in the country.
In a press briefing, Karlo Nograles, the Cabinet Secretary said that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program. This would help about 1.6 million small business that are officially part of the formal sector.
This will cover 1.6 million small businesses that have ceased to operate due to the enhanced community quarantine or who are applying the skeletal workforce to stay afloat. The number of potential workers who can benefit is 3.4 million workers.”
There are about 3.4 million employees that have been affected by the lockdowns; also including the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to stop the spread of the COVID-19.
Nograles said that this is their answer to the cry of middle class workers.
Ito po ‘yung sagot natin doon sa tinatawag na middle-income workers natin.”
In Translation: This is our answer to people who are considered as the “middle class” income workers.
President Duterte giving his go signal
As per Secretary Nograles, when this proposal was presented to the President, he duly gave his go signal. The program has been dubbed as the Small Business Wage Subsidy Program.
This was presented to the President and he gave his go-signal. The program is called the small business wage subsidy program. This is our response to our middle income workers.”
Fortunately, our President understood the need of workers in the middle class sector. With this subsidy, even those in the middle class – who might be in need of financial assistance would be covered.
As per the announcement, the Philippine government is intending to use the registered small businesses database. They’ll work hand-in-hand with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
The eligible businesses, as per Nograles, would be their priority. But not all businesses are going to be eligible.
Which businesses are excluded?
The Small Business Wage Subsidy program would cover eligible businesses. However, excluded from this program would be:
- Workers who were able to avail of the SSS unemployment benefits
- Employees who are on-leave
To note, workers who were given the P5,000 one-time subsidy by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) would be excluded too; only for the first (1st) month.
However, they would become eligible for the second (2nd) month of the tranche.
But for the second month or second tranche, they are covered.”
With this, people can expect to receive additional funds from the government; they will be able to even if they were given the financial assistance offered and distributed by DOLE.
Distribution of funds
With the P50.8 billion wage subsidy, Nograles said that the distribution of funds would be given and distributed through the employees’ bank accounts, remittance companies, bank transfers, SSS cards, or even PayMaya online accounts.
The P50.8 billion wage subsidy for middle class workers would be a large and an impacting help and act that would show the country’s support to middle class workers. The poor is not just the people who needs help; there are others in the middle class and lower middle class classifications, too.
What do you think about the P50.8 billion wage subsidy for middle class workers? Could this help them in providing better opportunities for the poor? Would this be able to get them through the enhanced community quarantine while they are not working?