The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is expected to issue an advisory regarding the payment of the 13th month pay for private-sector employees amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“There is still time to study the situation, I’m sure the Secretary (Silvestre Bello III) or the department will issue an advisory as to how best companies especially those still reeling from the effects of the pandemic should address paying or non-paying the 13th month pay,” DOLE spokesperson Rolly Francia said in a virtual forum on Monday.
Francia, however, reminded that the 13th month pay is mandated by law.
“Remember that the 13th month pay is mandatory. Unless of course there are circumstances that would exempt a specific or a particular company from paying and that includes closure,” Francia said.
Asked if there is a possibility that the DOLE will help in shouldering the 13th pay for employers who cannot afford to pay it, Francia said there was a proposal last year for the agency to either “ask for extra funds for the measure or give a facility to employers where they could get the funds to pay the 13th month pay of their workers.”
Last week, Presidential Adviser for Entrepreneurship Joey Concepcion said it will be difficult for some industries to release the 13th-month pay, particularly those who are having a hard time recovering from losses incurred due to lockdowns where most businesses are either closed or operating on a limited capacity.
Under Presidential Decree 851, owners of companies, establishments are mandated to pay the 13th month pay on or before December 24.
The 13th month pay required by law shall not be less than one-twelfth (1/12) of the total basic salary earned by an employee within a calendar year.
Source: Philippines News Agency