More than three million workers have benefited from the first tranche of a wage subsidy scheme for small businesses, the Social Security System (SSS) said.

SSS President Aurora Cruz Ignacio said the figure accounted for 90 percent of the total number of qualified recipients of the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program.

From April 29 to May 31, 2020, SSS distributed the first tranche of the government subsidy amounting from P5,000 to 8,000. The distribution of the second tranche started May 16 and will end on June 15, 2020.

She explained that the 193,000 recipients of the SBWS payouts were also the beneficiaries of the DOLE-CAMP, thus they will either receive a differential amount or not receive any SBWS at all for the second tranche.

“Dahil two tranches ang SBWS, ang second tranche ng mga nakatanggap ng Department of Labor and Employment-COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-CAMP) ay net na lamang po ang ng SBWS (Because SBWS has two tranches, the second tranche of DOLE-CAMP recipients will only get the net amount of the SBWS),” Ignacio said.

SSS members who lost their jobs due to downsizing or closure of some businesses due to the coronavirus disease outbreak, but are not qualified for the SBWS, may file for unemployment insurance benefit when applications open online, she said.

On its Facebook page, SSS advised employees who haven’t received their SBWS subsidy to check their bank account numbers and mobile phone numbers with their employers as discrepancies were the causes of delay in the payout of the first tranche. (Jojo Mangahis)