By Ferdinand Patinio, 8 Feb 2021
MANILA – Some 1.6 million workers and around 30,000 establishments will benefit from the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) suggestion for a wage subsidy under the proposed Bayanihan to Arise as One Act or Bayanihan 3.
Labor Assistant Secretary Dominique Tutay said the proposal involved not only workers but also youth beneficiaries.
“The original number of beneficiaries, if I recall it right, it is around 1.6 million workers. This include our youth beneficiaries who have been out of the labor force or the labor market during the pandemic,” she said during the virtual briefing on Monday.
As for the number of establishments or business, Tutay said the proposed measure will only cover micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“It could be around 30,000 establishments under the category of micro, small and medium enterprises,” she said.
Tutay said the proposed budget for the wage subsidy program is over PHP50 billion.
“Our original proposal in 2020 was about PHP40 billion. But I looked at the Bayanihan 3 bill. It is about PHP52 billion,” she said.
Under the proposal, the DOLE will subsidize a portion of the salary of the workers.
“Our original proposal to the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) and Congress regarding wage subsidy, it will run for about three months. We will subsidize a portion of the wage of the workers in the form of the payroll system ng mga (of the) companies. What is needed is to have a certain percentage of their workers that needs to be retained or preserved,” she said.
Tutay, however, said the success of wage subsidy is really dependent on the budget.
After Bayanihan 2
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Malacañang appreciates House Speaker Allan Velasco for filing a third version of the Bayanihan bill, seeking to secure an additional stimulus package amounting to PHP420 billion to help revive the pandemic-hit economy.
Roque, however, said the government will only use Bayanihan 3 if fiscal stimulus under 2021 national budget and Bayanihan 2 are not enough to help affected workers and business establishments.
“Siyempre po, we appreciate the filing of Bayanihan 3 dahil kung kulang po talaga, then we will of course resort to Bayanihan 3. Sa ngayon po, tingnan po muna natin kung anong mangyayari sa pagpapatupad ng 2021 budget at iyong pagpapatupad pa rin ng Bayanihan 2 na extended po hanggang taon na ito (Of course, we appreciate the filing of Bayanihan 3 because if it is not really enough, then we will of course resort to Bayanihan 3. As of now, let’s see what will happen in the implementation of 2021 budget and Bayanihan 2 which is extended until this year),” Roque said in a virtual Palace press briefing.
On Dec. 29, 2020, President Rodrigo Duterte signed Republic Act 11519 allowing appropriations under Bayanihan to Recover As One Act or Bayanihan 2 available for release, obligation and disbursement until June 30, 2021.
Duterte also signed RA 11520, extending the availability of appropriations under the 2020 General Appropriations Act until December 31, 2021. (PNA)