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Gov’t readies subsidy MSMEs, SSS members, Cayetano says after Zoom meeting with Cabinet members

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By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

The national government is preparing additional stimulus package for those affected by the Luzon lockdown due to the extended enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) amid the country’s coronavirus pandemic, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano said.

In an ambush interview in Manila on Monday, Cayetano said the micro-small-medium enterprises (MSMEs) and those under the Social Security System (SSS) wiill benefit from the new subsidy schemes being prepared by the Executive and Legislative branches.

“Itong susunod na stimulus, nagkaroon kami ng Zoom meeting with Sen. Bong Go, Executive Sec. Salvador Medealdea, Budget Sec. Wendel Avisado and Finance Sec. Sonny Dominguez. They’re preparing quite a big amount then dalawa ang target,” he said.

House committee on ways and means chair Joey Salceda earlier has recommended President Rodrigo Duterte to start calibrating a wage subsidy program not only for SMEs, but as well as for those in the “gig economy.”

In his letter to the President, Salceda has proposed a P45-billion wage subsidy package which will benefit workers, MSMEs, and even free lancers affected by the extended Luzon lockdown amid the country’s current health crisis.

Salceda explained that since the average monthly earning in hose of P9,500 per month, he suggested “a wage subsidy that covers around a quarter to a third of this amount” and “to be be distributed for three months.”

“The cost of supporting their income, at P2,500 to P3,000 per month for two months, is P44.85 to P53.82 billion,” said Salceda.

The Albay lawmaker suggested that the said financial relief be distributed via SSS and assisted by the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for formal economy workers.”

For freelancers, Salceda has proposed an open-application window similar to the COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) of DOLE.”

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