The government task force in charge of wage subsidy has given employers and employees until end of this month to return the cash aid disbursed to ineligible workers, the Department of Finance (DOF) said.

 In a statement released by the DOF, the department said that the Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) Program Task Force (SPTF) extended anew the voluntary return of the SBWS until June 30 this year.

According to the DOF, the extension was in response to requests from employers and employees who were still unable to return the SBWS despite previous extensions of its deadline to return subsidies.

The Task Force had previously announced, through a resolution dated May 28, 2020 further amended last June 13, that a return of the subsidy must be made by employers or employee under three conditions.

First, employees who failed to maintain their employment status before the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in 2020, or misrepresented in their “material” information during the application process.

Second, employees who resigned during the period of ECQ and modified ECQ imposed in Luzon and other parts of the country in 2020.

Lastly, employers of the beneficiaries of the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (DOLE-CAMP) who received the full amount of the second tranche of the SBWS. 

According to the SPTF, the amount of the subsidy to be returned should cover the first and second tranches of the SBWS. 

However, DOLE-CAMP beneficiaries who received the full amount of the SBWS second tranche shall only return the amount equivalent to the DOLE-CAMP benefit received. 

The SPTF had previously extended the SBWS voluntary returns deadline, which was originally set on June 15, 2020, multiple times through several resolutions, to allow employers and employees time to return the subsidy. 

However, the SPTF decided to set a final deadline, more than a year after the initial deadline, because of the impending liquidation of the SBWS funds.

Through the SBWS program, the government provided two tranches of cash aid amounting to P5,000 to P8,000 each, as a subsidy to qualified employees of small businesses who were dislocated during the height of the community quarantines imposed last year.

The government allocated P46 billion for this subsidy program that benefitted more than three million employees of small businesses.

Source: Manila Bulletin (