After receiving (or not receiving) government aid, many people are still confused as to what they are, and what they’re supposed to get. Hence, I consolidated the answers in one post just to clear things up.
1. What is CAMP, SAP and SBWS, and how do they fit together?
They are three programs of many that the government has announced to help the Filipinos during the Expanded Community Quarantine (ECQ):
Here is the team that’s working together to ensure that Filipinos are all being helped:
For the Filipino worker, there’s three programs most relevant to us — DOLE CAMP, DSWD SAP, and DoF/BIR/SSS’s SBWS. Here’s the difference between the three:
In summary — SAP is for the 18 million households that’s pangmahirap. Poorest of the poor. They are as follows:
Meanwhile, DOLE COVID-19 Adjustment Measures Program (CAMP) is for the employees of private companies that has experienced ANY reduction of income (e.g., kasama ang WFH and skeletal).
The program ran from March 17 to April 15, 2020. It was a lump sum, one-time Php 5,000 cash aid NOT loan to those who employees in the FORMAL sector, whose income was affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Private employees were eligible to enter regardless of employment status — Contractual, probationary, regular, project based — and salary (e.g., Pwedeng below minimum or walang benefits na employee).
Even if you get a salary, as long as it’s not a full salary, your company can still apply you for CAMP. CAMP only requires an Establishment Report, Payroll of Feb 2020 or earlier sent to the Gmail account. Easy peasy. Disbursement of aid, usually using pera padala remittance centers like Palawan and M Lhullier, or the company bank account
The Small Business Wage Subsidy (SBWS) is a Php 51 billion project of the Department of Finance (DoF), Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) and Social Security System (SSS). The rules are a bit stricter. Employers have to apply using the system (See 10 Simple Steps on How to Apply for the SBWS Program) and have to submit an Employer’s Undertaking certifying that they are applying only for Eligible Employees.
Eligible employees are for those with TIN Numbers, SSS contributions by that employer, and have experienced ZERO PAY. Those working from home or part of skeletal force is NOT included. Those who have RESIGNED or will resign are NOT INCLUDED.
2. Ilang GIVES ang CAMP, SBWS and SAP?
- DOLE CAMP: ONE-Time, Non-Conditional Payment of Php 5,000.
- DSWD SAP: TWO (2) TIMES the amount depends on your locality. So for NCR of Php 8,000 amount, that’s Php 16,000 government aid.
- DoF/SSS/BIR SBWS: TWO (2) TIMES the amount on your region. So for NCR of Php 8,000 amount, that’s Php 16,000 government aid. If you received DOLE CAMP, you CAN receive SBWS for one give, for a total of Php 13,000 (Breakdown: Php 5,000 DOLE CAMP + Php 8,000 SBWS = Php 13,000)
3. “My employer says the Php 8,000 I got from SBWS is my salary. Bawas sa pinasok ko/hazard pay that I get. Tama ba yon?”
The money you get from CAMP, SBWS and SAP are the government’s REGALO to the Filipino people. Duterte government announced these ayuda as AID to help the Filipino people manage themselves during the ECQ. This is NOT part of your salary:
The boss should NOT deduct this aid to the salary he’s supposed to pay you because you WORKED FOR that wage. What the government gives you is the government. What the boss gives you is HIS own aid and what you worked for.
UNLESS…. You were Disqualified, but the Boss Applied for you Anyway.
If you are disqualified for the aid but you got one, your employer, damay ka din, have to return that money IF THAT GOVERNMENT OFFICE ASKS FOR IT BACK. If nobody asks for it back, no worries. If somebody asks for it back, you have to return.
For sure, if your TIN was 000-000-000 or some random digits, SSS will 1000% ask for it back:
If for example, your company or employee is disqualified, SSS MAY ask for it back. If hindi makalusot sa audit, then the company has to pay it back.
My personal opinion, company should not pre-empt the audit and ask for the money back. They are most likely afraid that employees will run away from their obligations if in case nag-audit, and the company is stuck with the bill. If ever they deduct, ask for the money back on your final pay, if the company was not singled out by the SSS. That money is yours, a gift from the Philippine government.
What if we feigned ignorance: “I did not know he will resign! After he received the SBWS, then he resigned. Is it MY fault if he resigned?”
The policy is clear — Company is responsible for their own SBWS application. And the Company is liable if SSS finds out that you’ve applied for a Disqualified Employee.
If you did not know he will resign and he did, return the money the employee got to the government. If your employee tried to trick you and run away with the money that’s not his, why are you angry at the SBWS team? Why are you not angry at the employee who played you for a fool, and yourself because niloko ka niya?
There are many ways to recover the money. The order is clear — Employer has to REFUND the money back to the government. Ask the money back from the employee, be it their final pay or demand letter. Have them pay it back, or pay it back for them.
4. “I am a WFH or part of a skeletal force. Why did I get SBWS from the SSS?”
Possibly, your employer LIED on their application form, or someone did NOT read the fine print on those of are qualified or disqualified.
When an HR submits a SBWS Application Form, they have to CERTIFY that all the information they wrote is TRUE, ACCURATE, and COMPLETE. We have to click AGREE to proceed. Any untruthful statements in punishable with the Penal Code. Company has to certify that the company had fully apprised all its employees of the nature of this application and subsequently notified those who have lacking for the SBWS measure and who have not, including reasons therefor.:
In other words, the HR/Owner certify that they completely understand who this SBWS Program is for, and will only apply IF THE EMPLOYEES FULFILL ALL THE CRITERIA stated below:
If they are on leave, paid or not, the following employees employees are also not included — those on maternity, paternity, study, sabbatical or any type of leave.
The rule is clear — You should NOT apply for SBWS if the employee is NOT qualified, or to those who have resigned or you know have plans to resign.
This means that if you’re getting a salary within 2 weeks —- in other words, your company paid the employees on on April 15, 2020 assuming you submitted by April 27 — your employees are NOT ELIGIBLE. SBWS is strictly for employees who 1) are NOT coming to work due to ECQ’s work suspension and 2) Are NOT paid a single cent for at least two weeks.
If you also know that the employee will resign, go AWOL, or will be terminated, DO NOT APPLY FOR THAT EMPLOYEE. Otherwise, your application meant you are responsible for what you wrote, and you will be liable to return the money the government gave to that disqualified employee whom you should not have applied for.
NOTE: I do NOT KNOW if SSS will habol the aid applied for by employers who lied on their application. They said they would, but we live in the Philippines and there’s a chance they may not depending on how effective they are. Just be prepared if they do. Because if you applied for 100 employees, at an allocation of Php 16,000 each, that’s Php 1.6 million liability IF you applied for the WFH AND you got caught. If you didn’t get caught, well, live for another day.
5. “But how will the SSS check if we applied for our disqualified employees?”
Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. I don’t really know how they will monitor and evaluate those who lied on their application form. Basically, the ones most at risk are those who are WFH, Skeletal or o leave. That’s easily identifiable. The only question is, will they enforce their threat? I honestly don’t know.
The only logical method is, they can easily check if may hulog si Employer during that period or No Operations. Pag resigned, they can check if that person is still with that company post ECQ. Because if resigned, company will stop paying his/her contributions. Once she moves to another company, another company has to pay their contributions. Personally, we will apply for Temporary Suspension in SSS because we were fully closed during the ECQ just to be safe:
As to how good they are chasing after those liabilities, I do know this — the SSS site was down the entire week during the first announcement of SBWS. However, one week later, high tech na. Employers can now apply and MANUALLY ENCODE their employee information later on. You can even use the Pera Padala function. This was impossible before. So magaling din ang SSS natin. They have a lot of talented technical people on the team developing this online system.
Wait, why are we even worried? Did the company lie about their application? If hindi naman, what’s to worry about?
6. But it’s their fault for releasing the money? Why is the employer on the line for SBWS Team disbursing the money without properly evaluating it?
These answers are very common on social media —- They got SBWS and sila pa ang galit:
Instead of understanding, there’s Anger and Indignation. The SBWS Team SHOULD have double checked and evaluated the applications before distributing the money. Once nabigay, Touch Move! Why should we be liable to return the money if they are stupid enough to give it?
Hand washing that it’s NOT our fault that Government released the money to a Disqualified Employee even though it was Us, the Company/Applicant, who Attested that we are only applying for Eligible Employees.
This does NOT excuse us for submitting the wrong information. This does NOT excuse us for lying on our application. The order was, EMPLOYERS WILL ONLY SUBMIT APPLICATION FOR QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES. Like how honest should the HR Professionals be?
The government knows the urgency that they trusted the Employers that they will tell the truth and not lie in their Employer’s Undertaking. They thought companies and HR are professional and will be honest. Apparently not.
But what if the SBWS or SSS call center TOLD us to do this? Take for example the 000-000-000 or “Input any TIN Number” debacle?
The email team is not the most accurate of helpers. Remember this? Four of my staff have to return of money because of the bad advice received from the email chat:
And then, a few days later on May 5, 2020, I read this:
Imagine my anger to see how some of my staff cannot collect because I listened to bad advice. However, after I cooled down a bit, I knew that I was still in the wrong. 000-000-000 is really an invalid TIN. If you handle the BIR, bawal ang 000-000-000. Here’s the BIR answer to the claim, “I don’t have my TIN because I’m only a minimum waged worker.”
If the call center was not trained properly and gave us the wrong answer, this does not still change the fact that we applied for staff who we knew were disqualified in the first place. The law still stands and we have to respect the intended criteria the government set for the aid program. Their ayuda = Their rules.
So if SSS comes and collects, the company has no choice to return the money. We have been warned this from Day 1, so walang dapat magagalit. We have sent staff with the wrong TIN this message, and they have been very understanding because they knew that they were really due to the TIN issue. We sent this text:
CompanyName tried to apply for the SBWS Program for you kahit wala kayong TIN. Due to system error, SBWS paid you the php8,000 to your BDO cash card. Now, they want it back. Can you pls the php8,000 back otherwise magka problema ang lahat sa SSS?Separate to this, CompanyName is offering a cash loan of php3,000, zero interest payable in 3 months after we return to work. If so, do you want to avail? If so, I need the Promissory Note. Handwritten lang, snap photo and send to me. Bring original copy to store on first day report.If you want to avail of the loan, please return the php5,000 to CompanyName. If you don’t need a loan, pakibalik yung ₱8,000. Send me photo as proof of balik, and sorry talaga. Hindi atin ang pera. Kailangang ibalik. Sorry for the hassle.Nagbakasakali lang din ang CompanyName, pero hindi talaga approved pag walang TIN. At least we tried. Sorry talaga.
Fortunately, they were understanding and promised to return the money. Hindi din naman kasi sila magnanakaw.
7. What if I received SAP kasi nauna yon, and then I also received SBWS+CAMP? Bakit kailangan ibalik ang SAP? May Legal Basis ba Yan?
DO NOT RETURN SBWS or CAMP ha. That’s YOURS. Unless for SBWS if you are disqualified pero your employer applied for it.
As for SAP, let DSWD SECRETARY ROLANDO BAUTISTA explain in his press briefing last April 28, 2020 on why you should return DSWD’s SAP:
Thanks to fellow HR Darwin Gonzales for sharing. Complete video HERE.
This is LEGAL Basis for this announcement na by the way, matagal na from Day 1 pa malinaw na nasabi: DSWD Memorandum Circular No. 9, Series of 2020:
Employees in the private sector, or those in the formal economy, has never been at target recipient of SAP from Day 1. Malinaw ang rules:
Sino ulit ang beneficiaries ng SAP? These people:
To be fair, nauna din kasi ang allotment ng DSWD. Tuloy, hindi alam ng tao na bawal pala. But now, alam mo na. Wala nang takbo or excuse na hindi mo alam.
8. So what do I do if I received SAP and then I also received SBWS+CAMP?
The DSWD commended in a statement the 35 residents of Barangay Gambang in Bakun, Benguet who waived their slots as SAP recipients “to make way for other qualified families.”
“The individuals’ families were initially targeted as SAP beneficiaries, but they voluntarily waived their slots prior to validation so that other families in need in their communities would be accommodated in the program,” it said.
The 35 Gambang residents are among 2,439 families in the town of Bakun who are set to receive a P5,500 SAP cash subsidy, the DSWD noted.
Look, for the SBWS team, walang isyu pag nakakuha ka ng DSWD. Kasi you are ELIGIBLE for the SBWS because you are part of the private sector.
For DSWD, may issue pag binigyan ka ng SAP tapos may SBWS or CAMP ka pala. Kung ganoon, dapat ibang pamilya na lang nila ibigay ang ayuda —- yung totoong walang nakuha sa CAMP or SBWS or ni isang koseng. Kulang kasi ang household allotment ng SAP para sa isang lugar, tapos doble pa ang kuha mo.
Ang ninakawan mo, hindi government, pero ang kapwang Pilipino. Now, since may doble na, DSWD will ask for the SAP back. Ang tanong, ngayon alam mo na, and may SBWS ka na, ibabalik mo ba?
9. How will the DSWD collect from the disqualified recipients of staff?
If you have not received the aid but know someone who is NOT qualified but have received it, you can report them to DSWD in addition to following up on your aid. This is their hotline. Just be warned, it took me 45 minutes to get through a person. Use a landline, but I was able to talk to somebody knowledgeable yesterday to confirm that yes, DSWD is now getting its money back.
The public may report to DSWD, through its Grievance Redress System (GRS), those whom they think are unqualified based on the list. The OpCen shall receive complaints and ensure proper referencing and reporting to concerned office for validation and/or investigation. The concerned office is required to respond to the said report within twenty-four hours from receipt. You can also ask why your family was NOT on the list.
Two, they will exchange notes and find out who was disqualified.
During the daily Network Briefing with Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar last May 7, DSWD Secretary Rolando Bautista said that local or barangay officials who did not screen their Social Amelioration Program (SAP) beneficiaires thoroughly will be held liable. As per the video, DSWD will compare notes and ask the LGUs to refund the money they gave to disqualified recipients. They will compare the list that was submitted to them with that of DOLE CAMP and SSS SBWS, and then will ask the LGU to return the money. LGUs are starting to get nervous and are asking for the sobra aid back:
According to DSWD, they are collecting complaints and will start double checking the disbursements from today, May 8. DSWD 2 will start checking today. Espejo said they assigned at least 40 personnel to “personally validate” the list of eligible and non-eligible families for the SAP assistance, which was intended for residents hardest hit by the impact of the enhanced community quarantine measures amid the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic.
The teams were properly briefed on the validation guidelines for SAP implementation ahead of their deployment, he said, adding that they were tasked to validate the grievances reported by residents regarding questions on the eligibility of some beneficiaries and related concerns.
Three, not only do LGUs need to refund the money, they will also be investigated for wrongful disbursement. Nograles said, “The LGU will be constrained to reimburse… And there would be investigation for determination of administrative, civil and criminal liability.”
Would-be beneficiaries are subject to undergo the verification process to be done by DSWD Field Offices to validate whether they qualify as an indigent family.
However, DSWD spokesperson Irene Dumlao said given that “it is a working data”, they have amended the guidelines to hasten the distribution so the assistance could be provided immediately to families who are in dire need of the subsidy.
DSWD said with the amended guideline, LGUs may proceed with the distribution of the cash aid within 24 hours upon receipt of the funds from the department, adding that DSWD “will conduct validation within 15 days from receipt of documents from the LGUs that support the completion of the distribution of the emergency subsidies”.
“The validation is important as this will detect the duplication of assistance and to ascertain the eligibility of the beneficiaries,” DSWD added.
Source: LGUs to Refund the Budget of Disqualified SAP Recipients, April 21, 2020
This is why many LGUs are starting asking for the money back. An old PWD was sad after the DSWD took back his SAP cash because of a 4Ps family member. One of his grandchildren shared the story on social media. While many sympathized with the old man’s plight, there are also a lot who think that the DSWD was right in getting their money back.
The family followed his request and spent around Php1,000 of the SAP cash he received to buy the aforementioned things, plus some vitamins and items for personal hygiene the old man needed. It was a good thing they did not spend all the money because the DSWD asked them to give the money back.
Apparently, someone reported the old man to the DSWD, claiming that he is not qualified for aid because one of his family members is a 4Ps beneficiary.
Baclao admitted that this is true; however, the 4Ps beneficiary is not living in the same house as his grandfather. The situation is complicated, however, because in the comments section of his post, he explained that his mother receives the money on behalf of her sibling, the 4Ps beneficiary, because the children are living at their house.
10. I received SAP before my employer employed me to SSS’ SBWS. What now? Hindi ko naman sinadya magka-doble.
Look, how honest are we? And how much do we care about our fellowmen? Anong klaseng tao ka ba?
I find it hypocritical that if we lambast the government for being corrupt and stealing from the poorest of the poor, and then we ourselves do the same thing and took an allocation that’s supposed for them, when we ourselves were already given.
The SAP Program is limited — I talked to somebody where the locality has 1,900 poor households. Pero the budget is only for 700 households. Just imagine if you yourself are from that household with no allocation. So you had no CAMP, no SAP and no SBWS, and then you see your neighbor have all three. In truth, the budget cannot pay for everyone. There will be some with ZERO. Your cooperation is helpful for
For every extra aid you get, another family was NOT able to get because the government funds are limited. That means, your family got double the allocation, while another got zero. If you got aid, thank you. But please do not deprive another family of money just because you took MORE.
Now that you KNOW, can you keep quiet and take the money that isn’t yours? As I’ve said, mahirap na decision yan. Money is still money, and everyone needs money. But if we take money that’s not ours at the expense of others, how do we in good conscience say that we are good people? How can we not say that it’s not stealing if people ask for money that’s not supposed to be yours back?
SOLUTION: KEEP SBWS & RETURN THE SAP TO DSWD
IF you are a private employee = get CAMP + SBWS. Take it and spend it. Congrats, it’s yours. Thanks to the government for their help. That’s at least Php 13,000-16,000 for you.
IF you are from the INFORMAL sector (Hindi pwedeng private employee) = only take SAP. That’s Php 16,000. Two gives yan. Antayin lang ang 2nd tranche. May delays lang, pero darating din.
If you see someone who got a lot of ayuda, you can complain to DSWD about them. Hotlines here.
If you work in the formal sector and got SAP, mali yon. Ibalik dapat local DSWD ang nakuhang pera kasi niloko ninyo ang SAP. Keep the CAMP+SBWS na lang kasi doon ka talaga qualified.
Si DSWD ang maghahabol. Hindi si SBWS. Pag nahuli ng DSWD na nagsinungaling ka, they will habol it pag nakita sa listahan may nakuha kayong doble or triple and ask you to RETURN THE MONEY TO DSWD.
If you received CAMP + SAP, Or SBWS + SAP, the DSWD requests for you to return the SAP to your DSWD branch. Please make sure that you signed Certificate you returned the money. Screenshot mo na lang na binalik ninyo, and share the good you did for your fellowman.
Hope this clears things out.
11. What if we have multiple members in the family who got CAMP + SAP + DSWD? Pwede ba yon?
Okay, let’s assume that your family has four members who received:
- Senior Citizen Mother is PWD and has an ID —- SAP gave php8,000 x 2 = php16,000
- Husband works for Company A, SBWS gave Php8,000 x 2 = php16,000
- Wife works for Company B, SBWS gave Php8,000 x 2 = php16,000
- Brother got CAMP + SBWS working for Company C = php5000 from DOLE plus php8000 SBWS tranche
If you compute this, this is a total of Php 61,000 for the Family ha. Under ONE ROOF. So what to do?
DOLE, SBWS and SSS says, Keep their ayuda because you earned this being a member of the formal economy. This is correct. That’s still Php 45,000. Let this be a lesson na it’s better that we have multiple people working in the private sector. If you are ELIGIBLE, and your company applied for you, that money is for you.
So ang KEEP for a total of php45,000 ay:
- Husband works for Company A, SBWS gave Php8,000 x 2 = php16,000
- Wife works for Company B, SBWS gave Php8,000 x 2 = php16,000
- Brother got CAMP + SBWS working for Company C = php5000 from DOLE plus php8000 SBWS tranche
But DSWD said that you have to return SAP if you get CAMP and SBWS.
And then may video reminder pa si DSWD SECRETARY ROLANDO BAUTISTA last April 28:
So what is the correct thing to do? Is it pag hinabol ka, saka ibabalik? Wow ha. What happened to our Bayanihan Culture? Now, it’s everyone for themselves?
Ibalik ang SAP. Yun lang ang hinahabol. Hindi naman yung iba.
12. How do you return your SAP to DSWD? Ayaw mo namang nakawin ng corrup officials diba?
This is correct. I would suggest that you return it to DSWD branch and make sure you receive a certification that you are returning the money.
As of today, DSWD will only start acting on the grievances and will contact the ones with double ayuda for them to return the money. If you think that you will likely return the money in the future, my suggestion for you is to:
a. Do NOT lie on your SAP form — Clarify with the LGU or DSWD if you are qualified for aid. If you are because of a family member that is qualified, they will tell you. So if they gave you the money with you telling the truth, the SAP is yours. Feel free to spend the money. Kasi sabi ng DSWD, eligible ka.
b. Pero if nagkamali si DSWD ng bigay, KEEP the money and WAIT FOR DSWD’S INSTRUCTIONS TO RETURN IT. They are double checking and will ask for it back IF hindi po qualified ang pamilya mo dahil mayroon na po kayong ibang ayuda.
c. If you return to the DSWD, make sure that you receive a CLEARANCE that the money was returned. Do not leave without a clearance.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you have the:
* Amount Returned for the Purpose of Re-Allocation to a More Less Fortunate Family
* Receiver Name,
* Receiver Position
* Photo Receiver
* Signature and Date
* Cellphone or Contact Number ng Receiver
d. Take a photo to be sure. Post the photo on your social media that you’ve returned the money because this is a very honest thing you are doing. You make us proud to be Filipino. Dahil sayo, maraming matutulungan iba na hindi pa nakakuha.
If you don’t want to return the money despite receiving double or triple ayuda, sa iyo na po yung decision. As I’ve said, it’s not an easy decision when it comes to money. There’s always a justification to keep the money. But the question is — Are you Honest, or Dishonest? Ikaw lang naman ang makakasagot niyan.
I hope the Q&A clarifies. If there’s any correction to the information here, please PM me ASAP so that I can make correction. If there’s any update, I will correct. This information is based on the collation of data found on multiple sources as of posting date. Thanks for the patience, and sorry ang haba.
Good luck and mabuhay ang Pilipino!