Kabayan party-list refiles bill to mandate 14th-month pay

Franco Luna - Philstar.com
Kabayan party-list refiles bill to mandate 14th-month pay
Commuters, who are heading to their workplaces, line up at the Nepa Q-Mart station of the EDSA Bus Carousel in Quezon City early Tuesday morning, June 21, 2022, to beat the influx of passengers. The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority estimated last week that there will be a possible increase in passenger volume as fewer private cars may ply EDSA due to the continuing hike in oil prices.
The STAR / Miguel De Guzman

MANILA, Philippines — A lawmaker at the House of Representatives has filed a bill pushing for 14th-month pay for all employees as many struggle with rising prices and costs of living.

In filing House Bill No. 520, or the proposed 14th Month Pay law, Rep. Ron Salo (Kabayan party-list) argued that even Presidential Decree No. 851, which mandated 13th-month pay acknowledged the "continuing struggle of the labor force in providing for the needs of their families."

PD No. 851, which mandated 13th-month pay for workers "receiving a basic salary of not more than P1,000 a month", noted that it was "necessary to further protect the level of real wages from the ravage of worldwide inflation" and that Christmas is "an opportune time for society to show its concern for the plight of the working masses so they may properly celebrate Christmas and New Year."

Memorandum Order No. 28, released in August 1986, expanded 13th-month pay to all rank-and-file employees.

"Despite the existence of 13th-month pay, many Filipino families still struggle to sufficiently provide for their families because of meager salaries, among others," Salo writes in his explanatory note. 

"With the continuously rising cost of living in the Philippines, it is incumbent upon the State to address the plight of its workers in both the government and private sectors."

If passed into law, 13th-month pay will be released on or before May 31 of each year in anticipation of school enrollment. The 14th-month pay will be released on or before November 30, in anticipation of the holidays.

The 14th-month pay for employees who have been with the company for less than a year will be prorated according to the number of months of employment.

The bill prohibits a 14th-month pay of less than a twelfth of the employee's basic monthly salary. 

Salo, who filed the same bill in the previous Congress, said that the bill "aims to incentivize and motivate all employees to work harder and increase productivity."

In the 18th Congress, Sen. Vicente Sotto filed a counterpart measure, Senate Bill No. 10 in the upper chamber, which was backed by the Department of Labor and Employment. 

Neither of the bills hurdled their respective chambers.




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