Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program
UPDATED aS OF August 3, 2020
The national government is providing a wage subsidy for affected employees of small businesses to help mitigate the impact of the quarantine in Luzon and various local government units. This wage subsidy shall be given for up to two months so that affected small businesses are able to retain their employees during the quarantine period.
Under the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) measure, the government, through the Social Security System (SSS), shall provide a wage subsidy of between 5,000 to 8,000 pesos (based on the regional minimum wage) per month per eligible employee.
Applications will be completed by the employer on behalf of their employees.
The Social Security System (SSS) will only be accepting applications from April 16, 2020 to May 8, 2020.
Eligibility criteria for small businesses
The business must meet two eligibility criteria: size of business and impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) on the small business’ operations. The small business must meet both criteria.
Businesses that have been compliant with the regulations of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and SSS will be prioritized.
Size of business: The small business — whether a corporation, partnership, or sole proprietorship — must not be in the BIR’s Large Taxpayer Service (LTS) list.
Impact of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ): Small businesses under both Category A (non-essentials) that are forced to stop operations (i.e., temporary closure or suspension of work) and Category B (quasi-essentials) that are allowed to operate a skeleton force can apply for the wage subsidy for employees who are not able to work and did not get paid during the ECQ. Employers in areas where other forms of quarantine have been put in place by the LGU may also qualify.
The following small businesses will be prioritized:
BIR-registered and complying with tax obligations during the past three years, up to January 2020.
SSS-registered and have paid SSS contributions for the past three years up to January 2020 (the last recorded contribution).
Eligibility criteria for employees
Conditions to avail of the program
To qualify for the program, the following conditions must be fulfilled:
Small businesses must maintain the employment status of all eligible employee beneficiaries before the ECQ and throughout the SBWS period. This will be checked during the monitoring and evaluation stage. Non-compliance with this condition shall result in the employer refunding to the government the wage subsidy amount.
Employees cannot resign during the ECQ period.
Salary subsidy amount
All eligible employees of eligible small businesses shall be given a wage subsidy of 5,000 to 8,000 pesos per month (depending on their region of work) for up to two months, depending on the extent of the ECQ.
The subsidy amount varies per region and is generally aligned with the emergency subsidy for the informal sector, except that 8,000 pesos per month is estimated for all eligible workers in NCR and Regions III and IV-A. The reason for this is that there are many workers who live in one region and work in another region.
Modes of payment
(IN PARTNERSHIP WITH THE DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES)
Withdrawal via employee’s SSS UMID cards enrolled as ATM
Withdrawal from employee’s bank account for PESOnet participating banks (See list here)
Employee’s Union Bank Quick Card (partnership with SSS)
Employee’s E-wallet: PayMaya
Cash pick-up arrangement through MLhuillier
STEP-BY-STEP PROCESS OF SBWS APPLICATION
FOR EMPLOYERS: HOW TO CHECK ELIGIBILITY AT THE BIR WEBSITE
For employers: Application via the SSS website
Method 2: E-form submission through secure site (via secure link sent through email)
This is only for pre-qualified employers with emails on file with SSS. The instructions have been sent to them.
Method 3: File upload through secure site (Microsoft Excel file upload to sbws.sss.gov.ph)
FOR INQUIRIES ON PRE-QUALIFICATION:
You can send an email to BIR at SBWS_BIRquery@bir.gov.ph with the following information:
Registered Name or Business Name
Revenue District Office (RDO) where registered