Bayanihan 2 funds can aid small businesses for workers' 13th month pay - senator

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2020 11:35 AM | Updated as of Oct 20 2020 11:41 AM

A vendor arranges colorful Christmas lanterns for sale in a gasoline station near the North Luzon Expressway-San Fernando exit in Pampanga, September 1, 2020. Mores Heramis, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) can tap into the allocation in the Bayanihan 2 law to help in giving workers their 13th month pay, Sen. Joel Villanueva said Tuesday.

The second coronavirus pandemic relief measure allocated some P39.47 billion for government financial institutions to help enterprises, and P10 billion in particular was earmarked for small business corporations and MSMEs, said Villanueva, chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor and Employment.

"That’s a P10-billion ayuda that they can tap for the 13th month pay," he told ANC's Headstart, adding that he has called on the Department of Trade and Industry to facilitate these loans.

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However, Villanueva pointed out that the release of the funds from both relief measures has been a problem.

"When we passed Bayanihan 1 and Bayanihan 2, we are in agreement that we are in an emergency situation," but as senators held budget briefings, the agencies "are still asking for the release of this fund," he said.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier proposed helping the MSMEs in giving its workers the mandated pay through government subsidies or loans.

Many businesses struggled in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and millions of Filipinos were left unemployed as the Philippine economy went into recession.