In the middle of this COVID-19 pandemic, one of the things that are probably lingering at the back of your head is how to pay your bills and how to claim your benefits. As government offices strive to still be of customer service, this guide enumerates their adjustments and assistance to Filipinos during these trying times.
Social Security System (SSS)
SSS will be accepting online applications for unemployment benefits and currently implemented suspension for all loan payments in line with the Bayanihan to Heal As One law.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
DSWD has assured that it will provide social amelioration measures to families belonging to vulnerable sectors affected by the enhanced community quarantine as mandated by Republic Act 11469 or the “Bayanihan to Heal as One Act.” To receive it, click here for full instructions.
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
DOLE now offers financial support to affected workers in private companies that have adopted Flexible Work Arrangement (FWAs) or temporary closure due to the coronavirus.
This covers workers who do not receive or with reduced regular wage due to the implementation of Flexible Work Arrangements; and workers whose employment is temporarily suspended due to the suspension of operations of the employer’s business establishment. Government workers are excluded from this program. To know more about how to get your PHP 5,000 salary subsidy, click here.
DOLE will also be providing a one-time PHP 10,000 assistance for Overseas Filipino workers (OFW) who were also affected by the pandemic. OFWs must submit their certificate of employment issued by their agencies. Their application will be evaluated and processed by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) or Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).
Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) – SB Corp.
The Small Business Corporation (SB Corp.), an agency under DTI sets up a PHP 1-billion loan facility to support micro and small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and cushion its economic impact in the country.
Department of Health (DOH)
DOH accommodates healthcare workers fighting COVID-19 in the frontlines with food and an allowance worth P500 per day. In case they contract COVID-19 while on duty, an insurance benefit worth PHP 100,000 in cash will be given to them. Should they die due to disease while on duty, their families will receive PHP 1 million from the government.
PhilHealth will shoulder all medical expenses of all health workers including volunteers who have been asked to augment or reinforce the health workforce and non-medical personnel necessary for the operation of a health facility like janitors, security guards, and maintenance personnel should they fall ill during the period of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This assurance is made in light of the recent Law passed by Congress and signed by the President known as the Bayanihan to Heal As One Act or R. A. 11469.
Pag-Ibig updated their loan application process through email filing. This applies to both Multi-Purpose Loan (MPL) and Calamity Loan. Find out about their requirements and designated email addresses here.
Department of Tourism (DOT) – TIEZA
The Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA) offers travel tax services and travel tax refunds in selected offices. Know more about their schedule and locations here.
There’s also a PHP 14 billion budget to support the tourism industry. More than PHP 5 billion will be allocated to infrastructure in Bohol, Iloilo, Pampanga, Pangasinan, Corregidor Island, and other tourist destinations.
Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Credit Policy Council (DA-ACPC)
With regards to Survival and Recovery (SURE) Aid Program, DA-ACPC provides loans of up to PHP 25,000 each at zero interest for smallholder farmers and fisherfolk affected by calamity and disasters. This includes a one-year moratorium without interest on payments of outstanding loan obligations of small farmers and fisherfolk (SFF) borrowers under the ACPC Credit Program amounting to P2.03 billion.
Department of Transportation (DOTr)
DOTr deploys busses for frontline health workers amid the enhanced community quarantine, free of charge 24/7. As of March 31, 2020, there are now 19 routes available. Check-in with their updated map here.
Local Government Units
Pasig City – Mayor Vico Sotto
Pasig Mayor Vico Sotto will be providing PHP 3,000 financial aid to drivers (jeepney driver, tricycle driver, and UV drivers) that are affected by the community quarantine in Pasig. Distribution started Monday, March 30, 2020. The LGU also sprayed disinfectant in Pasig streets via a PHP 1 Million drone.
Manila City – Mayor Isko Moreno
The city government of Manila is expected to convert public schools in the city into isolation rooms for persons under investigation (PUI) should hospitals reach their full capacities and can no longer accommodate more patients. Manila Mayor Isko Moreno said that they can make about 5,000 rooms as a quarantine area for mild PUIs.
Navotas City – Mayor Toby Tiangco
The city government of Navotas turned a building of a vocational training program into a housing facility for its medical frontliners fighting COVID-19.
Makati City – Mayor Abigail “Abby” Binay
Mayor Abby Binay announced that the city government has decided to give the cash gift and food packs door-to-door ahead of the usual schedule in June to help reassure nearly 80,000 senior citizens who are Blu Card holders. Solo parents will also receive additional PHP 1,000 door-to-door as long as they present their solo parent ID.
San Juan City – Mayor Francis Zamora
The city government of San Juan created a 16-bed isolation area and a 26-bed overflow ward for COVID-19 patients. Mayor Francis Zamora also said that the local government will establish a COVID-19 Overflow Building in one of the new public school buildings in San Juan.
Marikina – Mayor Marcy Teodoro
Mayor Marcy Teodoro provided free stallholder rents to the wet and dry section of Marikina City Public Market for two months (March-April). “Libreng Sakay” are also provided from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. along different routes within the city for people who need to buy food and medicine, as well as health workers who need to report for work.
Taguig City – Mayor Lino Cayetano
15,000 registered jeepney, pedicab and tricycle drivers in Taguig City are expected to receive cash assistance amounting to P8,000. It will be distributed in two tranches of P4,000 each.
And that’s it for now, we’ll continue to update this guide as more news progress. Feel free to let us know if you have any questions or more to add on the list. If you want to know about government agencies who extended their deadlines, you can check them here.