As part of the assistance of the Philippine government to the employees of small businesses, the Department of Finance (DoF) had approved the budget way back, that went through the Social Security System (SSS) — and it’s known as the small business wage subsidy (SBWS).
Many people and employees were able to get this subsidy; however, there were those still waiting for it because of the delay. Nevertheless, the SSS has given the assurance to all small and medium-sized business employees that they’ll be able to get it.
Notice on the late dispersion
Just recently, the SSS made an announcement about the late dispersion of the first tranche of the SBWS. To note, the delay was not really the fault of the SSS; as a matter of fact, the delay was because of the incorrect information, the insufficient contact information, that the employers have submitted to the SSS.
Along with that, the notice was also to help out in the improvement of the overall system. But now, the return of the SBWS is one of the few most important things being talked about in the country and in the case of receiving cash and financial assistance from the government.
Return of the SBWS guidelines
According to the Joint Memorandum Circular (JMC) No. 001-2020, the following employees are required to return the SBWS:
- Employees who voluntarily resigned during the period of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), or the General Community Quarantine (GCQ); or is imposed in the region or local government unit (LGU) where the place of business his or her employer is found;
- The employers who were not able to maintain the employment status of their employees within the original SBWS period which was from the 17th of March 2020 until the 31st of May 2020; and
- Employers who failed to properly present any material fact relevant to the eligibility of their employees in their application.
All voluntary returns of the SBWS, as per the SSS, shall be accepted up until the 15th of June 2020. What people can do is proceed to the nearest LandBank branch and deposit the amount over-the-counter and send it to the Bureau of the Treasury (BTr) bank account:
- Land Bank Account Number: 0012-1188-80
- Account Name: Refund of Small Business Wage Subsidy
After depositing the amount, the employee or the employer must submit the copy of the validated deposit slip to the SSS at [email protected]. The email must contain the following information:
- Employer Name and SSS ID number
- Name/s of the employees
- SSS number, plus the amount deposited for each employee
- Reason for the return
- Total deposited amount; and
- The date and time of the deposit
- SSS number and name of the employee
- Employer name and SSS ID number (if info is available)
- Reason for returning; and
- Date and time that the deposit was made
Those are all the needed information for the voluntary return of the SBWS. What about the involuntary? Fret not, they also released the guide for the involuntary return of the SBWS; and we will be more than happy to guide you through it too!
As opposed to the voluntary return, the involuntary return is upon the determination by the Commission on Audit during the post-audit of the SBWS program that an employer or an employee committed an act on the ground of which an employer has been deemed as a liable to return to the government the amount of the granting of the wage subsidy, or the discovery of fraud by the BIR, DoF, or SSS.
From its term, involuntary means that it shall happen no matter what.
For this, a letter would have been issued by the SBWS program task force after the return of the subsidy within fifteen (15) calendar days.
Non-compliance with the return of the SBWS within the period would be based off of the filing of criminal and/civil action; or whichever is appropriate.
Now that you’re aware of the grounds and the appropriate reasons for the return of the SBWS — you can use it to spread relevant information among your peers.
So, should you fall in any of the categories, you need to consider the return of the SBWS that you have gotten. What do you think of this? Do you think that this is a just and a right act of the Philippine government to impose such task? Or could it have been better off if they allowed it to continue on?