Philippines releases $1-billion salary aid package for workers amid virus crisis

The Philippine government has earmarked 51 billion pesos (roughly $1 billion) in wage subsidies to support 3.4 million domestic workers in small and informal businesses who are facing layoffs amid an idling economy due to the coronavirus crisis, Bloomberg News reported.

The government said it will prioritise 2.6 million workers whose employers have updated tax payments and pension fund contributions. The individual subsidy will be as much as 8,000 pesos ($158) monthly for every eligible person for two months.

This compares to emergency wage support in Thailand of 5,000 baht ($153) monthly for three months which the Thai government intends to spend in order to help around three million workers in the country’s large informal economic sector. This adds up to a total of 45 billion baht ($1.4 billion) as part of a 177-billion-baht ($3.6 billion) stimulus approved by the Thai cabinet to help the millions who are temporarily without work.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses shut, most in Luzon

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has budgeted a total of about 200 billion pesos ($3.95 billion) in financial assistance for small and medium enterprises and their lower-income workers as the lockdown of Luzon Island, which is home to half of the Philippine population and accounts for 70 per cent of economic output, shut hundreds of thousands of businesses, putting jobs at risk.

Of the 1.6 million small businesses in the Philippines, 436,000 were forced to close, while one million companies are operating with a minimal work force and only the rest as “normal,” labour officials said. But only about 117,000 businesses are officially allowed to operate to sell basic goods and services, which means the rest must be operating in a kind of grey zone.

As of April 14, the number of reported coronavirus infections in the Philippines climbed to 5,223, the most in Southeast Asia, with 315 deaths and 295 recovered patients.

The Philippine government has earmarked 51 billion pesos (roughly $1 billion) in wage subsidies to support 3.4 million domestic workers in small and informal businesses who are facing layoffs amid an idling economy due to the coronavirus crisis, Bloomberg News reported. The government said it will prioritise 2.6 million workers whose employers have updated tax payments and pension fund contributions. The individual subsidy will be as much as 8,000 pesos ($158) monthly for every eligible person for two months. This compares to emergency wage support in Thailand of 5,000 baht ($153) monthly for three months which the Thai government intends...

The Philippine government has earmarked 51 billion pesos (roughly $1 billion) in wage subsidies to support 3.4 million domestic workers in small and informal businesses who are facing layoffs amid an idling economy due to the coronavirus crisis, Bloomberg News reported.

The government said it will prioritise 2.6 million workers whose employers have updated tax payments and pension fund contributions. The individual subsidy will be as much as 8,000 pesos ($158) monthly for every eligible person for two months.

This compares to emergency wage support in Thailand of 5,000 baht ($153) monthly for three months which the Thai government intends to spend in order to help around three million workers in the country’s large informal economic sector. This adds up to a total of 45 billion baht ($1.4 billion) as part of a 177-billion-baht ($3.6 billion) stimulus approved by the Thai cabinet to help the millions who are temporarily without work.

Hundreds of thousands of businesses shut, most in Luzon

In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has budgeted a total of about 200 billion pesos ($3.95 billion) in financial assistance for small and medium enterprises and their lower-income workers as the lockdown of Luzon Island, which is home to half of the Philippine population and accounts for 70 per cent of economic output, shut hundreds of thousands of businesses, putting jobs at risk.

Of the 1.6 million small businesses in the Philippines, 436,000 were forced to close, while one million companies are operating with a minimal work force and only the rest as “normal,” labour officials said. But only about 117,000 businesses are officially allowed to operate to sell basic goods and services, which means the rest must be operating in a kind of grey zone.

As of April 14, the number of reported coronavirus infections in the Philippines climbed to 5,223, the most in Southeast Asia, with 315 deaths and 295 recovered patients.

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