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Jobs recovery task force bats for P8K monthly wage subsidy

The Inter-Agency Task Force on the National Employment Recovery Strategy (NERS) is working on the rollout of the proposed wage subsidy for private-sector workers, Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez said on Saturday.

During the NERS Job Summit on Labor Day, Lopez said the proposed wage subsidy to private sector workers supports the recommendation of the business and labor sectors for a wage subsidy program to preserve and protect existing jobs.

“The proposed program shall provide a subsidy equivalent to P8,000 per month or a maximum of three months to affected workers through the establishments’ payroll system,” he said.

Lopez, also the NERS chair, said the government will pour in P24 billion for the proposed wage subsidy program and will benefit one million workers in the private sector.

Apart from the DTI, government agencies that will be involved in the proposed wage subsidy program are the Department of Labor and Employment, the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Finance, and the National Economic and Development Authority.

Lopez said the program is being evaluated by NEDA.

He said he hopes that the program will be implemented soon, but it “will depend on the budget, which is now being studied.”

“This would also be a form of pump-priming the economy. Priority will be given to the micro, small, and medium enterprises, especially those that implemented or currently implementing flexible work arrangements and those under temporary closure but intending to return to business operation,” he said.

He said MSMEs that availed of the zero-interest Covid-19 Assistance to Restart Enterprises, or the Cares loan program of the Small Business Corp., will also be prioritized in the proposed wage subsidy program.

Lopez said the wage subsidy program is one of the eight-point employment recovery agenda of NERS, that is a convergence of recommendations from the business and labor sectors.

NERS agenda also includes P11.1-billion retooling and upskilling programs for workers in various government agencies with target beneficiaries of 407,804 individuals, full implementation of youth employability program in government agencies, with a total budget this year of P1.76-billion and will benefit 85,159 young Filipinos;

Extending assistance to establishments through loans, deferment of applicable fees, and upgrading of processes with allocation amounting toP14.81 billion and will help 37,350 jobs to preserve some 140,633 jobs, P1.1-billion social protection to vulnerable groups benefiting 112,541 families and 28,208 entrepreneurs, implementation of programs with high impact on job creation such as the Build Build Build, Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa, and other programs, amounting to P1.12 trillion and would create 220,000 jobs, supporting priority bills and policies to strengthen economic recovery, and conducting job summits.*PNA

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