Fri, 07 Aug 2020

Gov't boosts wage subsidy, loan programs amid COVID-19 crisis

Philippine Information Agency
08 Jul 2020, 18:38 GMT+10

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, July 8 (PIA)-- Assisting individuals and businesses through wage and emergency subsidy, and loan programs, is among the priorities of the national government to aid in economic recovery and further improve the lives of the Filipinos amid the coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 contagion.

In its forum dubbed, "Regaining Momentum, Accelerating Recovery in a Post COVID-19 World," the Economic Development and Infrastructure Cabinet Clusters (EDC-IC) of the Duterte administration reported that P51 billion has been allocated to the Small Business Wage Program covering three million workers.

About P205 billion was also disbursed for the Emergency Subsidy Program to more than 18 million families.

"We did not fold and run in the face of an unprecedented crisis. We quickly took stock of the situation and responded with everything we had," Department of Finance (DOF) Sec. Carlo Dominguez said.

Aid for individuals, biz in R10

As immediate assistance to individuals, the Department of Labor and Employment-Regional Office (DOLE)-X has registered 3,417 affected Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) under the DOLE-AKAP for Displaced OFWs program. The DOLE-X has disbursed P33.79 million in financial grants.

Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)-10 has completed disbursing the Social Amelioration Program funds and has served 626,251 out of the targeted 628,251 (99.66 percent) vulnerable sector beneficiaries.

For its recovery plan, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) identified 54 programs, projects and activities (PPAs) for FY 2020-2022 for the economic sector with a total funding requirement of P14 billion or 7.1 percent investment requirement.

For social services, there are 198 proposed PPAs with a funding requirement of P150 billion or 76 percent investment requirement.

Helping businesses

Dominguez said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Small Business Corporation's (SBC) P1 billion COVID-19 assistance to Restart Enterprises Loans program has already released 14.2 million as of July 6.

Furthermore, DTI and SBC have already approved 1,994 loan applications amounting to P152.4 million under the said program.

For their part, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is offering the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program (SETUP) to help businesses access training programs on transitioning to online and contactless operations.

The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) further aids in such regard through providing online resources for businesses and workers under a work-from-home program.

In Region 10, the economy cluster of the NorMin COVID-19 Response Task Force plans to institutionalize the provision of financial support program packages for the affected micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).

They also plan to institutionalize tactical crisis management and re-entry planning in all business operations in the region, promote e-commerce and online cashless payment schemes, and improve livelihood income support systems.

Noting the efforts of the government to regain confidence in the economy, Dominguez said, "We are asking all Filipinos to cultivate in themselves a renewed sense of confidence through continued vigilance - not out of fear, but with the knowledge that most factors of viral transmission are under our control."

The three-part fora highlights the Cabinet members' accomplishments and insights on the Philippines' performance in terms of fulfilling the key priorities of the administration prior to 2020 SONA of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. (RTP/PIA10)

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