THE government has released P10.1 billion in cash grants to more than 1.2 million workers under a small business wage subsidy program, the Department of Finance (DoF) said on Friday.

In a statement, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said about 184,000 more beneficiaries would get their subsidies by Thursday.

The payouts were deposited directly to the employees’ bank or PayMaya accounts or sent via remittance centers.

“The Social Security System has partnered with the Development Bank of the Philippines to automate the payout of the subsidy, which has allowed the distribution to scale up in a short span of time,” he said.

The P51-billion program gives wage subsidy worth P5,000 to P8,000 in two tranches to 3.4 million employees of small businesses displaced by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

SSS President and Chief Executive Officer Aurora C. Ignacio said they have approved 2.2 million employees eligible for the subsidy from more than 101,400 employers that have applied for the program.

The first tranche of payouts began on April 30 and will run until May 15, while the second batch is expected to be released starting May 16 until May 31. — Beatrice M. Laforga