Makati to give businesses up to P100,000 coronavirus cash aid

Registered businesses in Makati can now apply for financial aid from P10,000 up to P100,000 ($205 to $2,054) as part of the city’s economic relief program to counter the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mayor Abby Binay unveiled the P2.5-billion ($51.36-million) economic relief package of the country’s premier business district in a Facebook Live video on Monday, September 7.

This includes the Makati Assistance and Support to Businesses program, which stands to benefit some 78,000 establishments in the city. 

The grant applicants can receive cash aid between P10,000 and P100,000, depending on the type of business they own and the number of Makati residents they employ.

The money will be used to pay for the salaries of employees, both residents and non-residents of Makati.

In return, qualified businesses need to fulfill the following in the next two years:

  • They must continue their operations.
  • They should not let go of any employees who are Makati residents.
  • They should comply with the city’s ordinances and other policies. 

The grant, however, will not be released to employers. It will be directly given to the employees and their Makati-based suppliers instead.

“This is not a loan, but financial aid aimed to help some 78,000 businesses registered in Makati. We will ensure an easy, fast, and automatic process for the approval of grants under the program,” Binay said. 

Makati will also allow a one-hour “travel window” beyond the 10 pm curfew to give residents enough time to return home after dining out in restaurants and other food establishments in the city.

Binay said residents who dined outside between 9 pm to 10 pm – the last 60 minutes of the curfew – just need to show a machine-generated official receipt to avail of the travel window.

“Businesses, especially restaurants, cannot survive with very limited operating hours,” Binay said. 

Micro, small, and medium enterprises took a beating from the COVID-19 pandemic, with several establishments forced to close down when the government imposed different levels of quarantine across the country. 

NoKal and Polilya, two of the more popular bars in Makati’s Poblacion area, have already closed their doors to patrons.

Low taxes for online sellers, pooled testing in private sector

On Monday, Binay also encouraged online sellers in the city to formally register their businesses with city hall.

The mayor said she has already endorsed an ordinance to the city council to set the lowest possible tax rate on online sellers who do not have a physical store for their businesses.

“I am calling on home-based enterprises: This is your chance to grow your online business by allowing the city to help you. Register, pay the lowest business tax, and be recognized as a legitimate business entity,” Binay said. 

In the coming weeks, Makati also plans to tie up with companies to conduct pooled testing of employees in the private sector at a minimal cost.

The city has already started its pooled swab testing of around 6,000 vendors and public utility vehicles.

Makati has steadily been providing aid to its over 500,000 residents since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines. 

These include free pneumonia and flu vaccines for residents, P5,000 (US$102.73) cash aid for every Makatizen and Yellow cardholder, and free learning modules and internet load for public school students and teachers.  

As of Sunday, September 6, Makati has logged a total of 4,173 cases of COVID-19, of which 1,023 are still active. The city has recorded 167 deaths, though this is far outnumbered by its recoveries at 2,983.

In the entire Philippines, the total positive cases have already breached 237,000. – Rappler.com

$1 = P48.6774

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the Senate and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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