P4 billion loans ready for MSEs giving 13th month pay
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the DTI expressed willingness to extend soft loans for small businesses that are having difficulty complying with the 13th month pay law due to the pandemic.
STAR/File
P4 billion loans ready for MSEs giving 13th month pay
Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - October 21, 2020 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has offered to provide P4 billion worth of soft loans for micro and small enterprises or MSEs for the 13th month pay of employees, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday.

Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said the DTI expressed willingness to extend soft loans for small businesses that are having difficulty complying with the 13th month pay law due to the pandemic.

“Trade Secretary Mon Lopez informed me that they have a funding of P10 billion from DTI’s attached agency, Small Business Corp., and they are willing to share about P4 billion of the amount,” Bello said.

Lopez said the fund is part of the P10-billion given to SB Corp. under the Bayanihan 2 law.

Aside from the DTI, Bello said the Rural Bank Association of the Philippines also expressed readiness to extend loans to help small companies pay the 13th month pay of employees.

“With soft loan they mean minimum interest with no collateral requirement,” he said.

According to Bello, the bankers’ association has committed to fast-track the processing of loans so that companies would be able to grant the 13th month pay of employees on or before Dec. 24.

He said he has asked President Duterte if the government still has standby fund to subsidize the payment of 13th month pay.

A minimum of P3.5 billion to as much as P13 billion is needed for the subsidy program, Bello said.

He said there is no reason for companies not to comply with the law.

“It cannot not be paid or lessened, it cannot be postponed. The law is very clear, the 13th month pay must be paid on or before Dec. 24,” he said.

Quezon City 2nd District Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo called on private companies to release the 13th month pay of employees ahead of the deadline set by law as the nation continues to grapple with the pandemic.

Hotline

Labor group Defend Jobs Philippines launched a hotline where workers and employees can report companies that fail to comply with the law on the release of 13th month pay.

The hotline was launched during a press conference at the University of the Philippines yesterday, which coincided with a die-in protest staged by university hotel workers calling for the resumption of full operations.

Defend Jobs Philippines spokesman Christian Lloyd Magsoy welcomed the recent advisory issued by the DOLE, which reiterated the law mandating the grant of 13th month pay.

“We encourage workers to report the status of their 13th month pay benefits to our labor hotlines 09150052082 (Globe) or 09995542533 (Smart) so we can take immediate and necessary actions against employers violating the law,” Magsoy said.

“While ensuring the confidentiality of complainants, we aim to compile the 13th month pay-related violations of employers and file the list of violators to the labor department for penalties and sanctions,” he added.

Workers can send their complaints through text message 24/7, with the hotlines available to accept calls from 8 a.m. to 5 a.m. on weekdays.

Reports and inquiries may also be sent to the official Facebook and Twitter accounts of Defend Jobs Philippines. – Louella Desiderio, Janvic Mateo, Edu Punay

13TH MONTH PAY
Philstar
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

FORGOT PASSWORD?
SIGN IN
or sign in with