Private sector workers can look forward to a merry holiday season despite the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic as they would get their 13th month pay before Christmas, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Thursday.
In a Laging Handa briefing, Bello said his agency will implement Presidential Decree 851 which provides for the grant of the mandatory benefit.
“We will not postpone, we will not defer and we will not give an exemption to the payment of 13th month pay. The law says pay the workers the 13th month pay on or before December 24, and that will be implemented by DOLE,” Bello added.
He said they are preparing a proposal to be submitted to the Department of Finance (DOF) to provide subsidy to micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for the grant of the benefit to their workers.
“Aside from the proposal for subsidy, we also have an alternative proposal to open the line of banks for these companies to get loans,” he added.
Bello has ruled out the proposal for the deferment of 13th month pay.
“It cannot be deferred. The provision of PD 851 is very specific, the employers should pay their employees 13th month pay on or before December 24. There was a little complication because of the implementing rules and regulations issued by the late Labor Secretary Blas Ople, about the exemption. It was stated that employers or companies in distress should be exempted from paying 13th month pay,” he said.
He added that the department is set to release an advisory on the grant of 13th month pay and the request of employers to extend the rehiring period for workers on floating status on Friday. (PNA)