To preserve jobs, DOLE seeks cash aid for small firms

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 04 2020 11:01 AM | Updated as of Jun 04 2020 11:59 AM

Commuters take advantage of P2P buses deployed by the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) at the MRT North Avenue Station in Quezon City on June 02, 2020. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Department of Labor and Employment said Thursday it was seeking P20 billion to provide cash subsidies to small and medium employers and preserve jobs during the pandemic.

The subsidies will help micro, small and medium enterprises cover 25 to 50 percent of their payroll costs, said Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

"We have proposed na magkaroon ng cash subsidy for employers, 'yung employers ang bibigyan namin ng cash subsidy. To see to it na ang mga employees nila ay hindi tatanggalin at kung maari ay dadagdagan pa nga," Bello told Teleradyo.

(We proposed a cash subsidy for employers to see to it that they keep their workers or even add more.)

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Metro Manila transitioned to general community quarantine on June 1, however, some businesses remain closed while a few are planning to either temporarily or permanently close, Bello said. 

The DOLE earlier launched cash aid programs including a P5,000 assistance for formal workers, a 10-day job opportunity for informal workers and a $200 aid for overseas Filipino workers who lost their jobs due to COVID-19. 

Some 1 million OFWs are expected to lose their jobs in a "worse case scenario," on top the DOLE's earlier estimate of 5 million workers, Bello said.