Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) Secretary Ramon Lopez sees no need to defer the 13th month pay for this year as the government stands ready to support distressed micro and small enterprises amid the pandemic.
“No official discussion on deferment because companies needing funds can possibly source from loans,” Lopez told reporters in a text message Wednesday.
Lopez said the government will provide support, whether through loan or subsidy, to micro and small enterprises and their workers.
“The matter is being reviewed by DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment),” he added.
In a virtual edition of Wednesday Roundtable at Lido, both the business and labor groups are “in the same boat” on the matter of the 13th-month pay.
Sonny Matula, chairman of Nagkaisa labor coalition and president of Federation of Free Workers, said trade unions support the proposal of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) for the government to subsidize the 13th-month pay of workers to be given by distressed micro and small enterprises.
“Sa kasalukuyan, mas lalo ngayong kinakailangan ng mga manggagawa ang proteksyon. Kung di talaga kaya magawa ng mga employers ay ang gobyerno ang gumawa ng paraan na matulungan sila (Nowadays, workers need protection even more. If the employers can’t really do it, the government should come up with a way to help them),” Matula said.
Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI) chairman emeritus George Barcelon said ECOP’s suggestion is “very appropriate”, adding employers were asking for sources of funds for them to provide the 13th-month pay to their employees. (PNA)