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Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program

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 April 30, 2020.


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.

Sector common namePhilippine Standard Industrial Classification (PSIC) code
Category A: Non-essentials
Non-food raw materials/Non-essential manufacturing5, 10, 11, 20, 21, 22, 24 to 29, 34, 35, 36, 39
Non-essential services91, 93, 95
Hotels and restaurants55
Rental and leasing of personal goods71
Category B: Quasi-essentials
Textiles, wearables, and leather for export17, 18, 19
Electronics manufacturing30, 31, 32
Retail trade50 to 52
Public transportation/trucking and cargo handling (food and non-food)60, 61, 63, 64
Business process outsourcing68, 70, 72, 73, 74
Banks65, 66
Personal service and domestic activities (salons, laundry, funeral, domestic help, others)96

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).


Who are eligible?Who are not eligible?
An employee who fulfills all of the following criteria is eligible:
  • Must be an employee of an eligible small business
  • Must be employed and active as of March 1, 2020 but unable to work due to the ECQ
  • Did not get paid by their employer for at least two weeks during the temporary closure or suspension of work in accordance with Labor Advisory No. 1, Series of 2020
  • Can be of any contract status (e.g., regular, probationary, regular seasonal, project-based, fixed-term)
  • Must be certified by the employer in the application as having met all the above criteria
Note:Priority will be given to employees that are BIR and SSS-registered and compliant with SSS and BIR regulations.
Note: Employees who have received a subsidy from the Department of Labor and Employment’s COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) shall be eligible for only the first month of the SBWS to avoid duplication.
The following employees are not eligible:
  • Working from home or part of the skeleton force
  • Those who voluntarily went on the following types of leave – maternity leave, paternity leave, study leave, sabbatical leave, and leaves of the same type – for the entire duration of the ECQ, whether with or without pay
  • Already a recipient of SSS unemployment benefits due to COVID-19, to avoid duplication
  • Those who have settled or in-process SSS final claims (funeral, retirement, death, and total disability)


To qualify for the program, the following conditions must be fulfilled:

1. 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.

2. Employees cannot resign during the ECQ period.


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.

RegionMonthly wage subsidy per worker (pesos)
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.


Application periodApril 16 to 30, 2020
First tranche of payoutMay 1 to 15, 2020
Second tranche of payout Note: schedule may change depending on the timing of the ECQMay 16 to 31, 2020


1. Withdrawal via employee’s SSS UMID cards enrolled as ATM
2. Withdrawal from employee’s bank account for PESOnet participating banks
3. Employee’s Union Bank Quick Card (partnership with SSS)
4. Employee’s E-wallet: PayMaya
5. Cash pick-up arrangement through remittance transfer companies


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
Your Message"


Call Center: 1455 Toll Free: 1-800-10-2255777
Email: SBWSQueries@sss.gov.ph
Facebook: fb.com/SSSPh
Website: https://www.sss.gov.ph/

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