Council backs Bebot’s bill on 14th month pay
May B. Miasco/JMO (The Freeman) - December 20, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu City Council is backing the passage of House Bill 6239, which aims to mandate the release of a 14th month pay to employees.

The bill was introduced by Cebu City South District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa, himself a former councilor of the city.

“The present economic difficulties brought about by inflation [with regard to] the unfortunate reality that the income of our working class remained the same, thus, is unable to cope with the continued increase of the prices of basic commodities and made the lives of our workers a life of daily struggle and belt-tightening,” reads the resolution penned by Councilor Alvin Dizon, which the Council approved.

Dizon is vice chairman of the Council’s Committee on Labor and Employment.

He said labor is a “primary social economic force”, thus, the government shall endeavor to protect the rights of the workers and promote their welfare.

“We are long overdue in giving our workers their just share… the principle of social justice calls for the equitable distribution of wealth as well as giving preferential treatment for the poor especially our working class who are instrumental in fostering the country’s economic development,” his resolution reads.

Complementing such initiative, the Council asked the Department of Labor and Employment-7 to monitor strictly the compliance of different companies on Presidential Decree 442 or “Labor Code of the Philippines” and Presidential Decree 851 or “Thirteenth Month Pay Law.”

The Council also requested DOLE to issue an advisory reminding all employers on their legal obligation and to furnish guidelines on the payment of the 13th month pay.

In 1976, PD 851 institutionalized the 13th month pay, recognizing the masses’ continuous struggle to provide for the needs of their families particularly on education.

On his explanatory note, Abellanosa acknowledged that most of the workers still struggle, considering the meager salaries they receive vis-à-vis the fees they need to pay that continue to drain their resources, among which is tuition.

“Every time, as the academic year opens, our workers find themselves in a fix trying to provide for their dependents’ school fees and other educational requirements,” he said.

“In this connection, the bill proposes that an additional month’s pay be included in workers’ compensation schemes to cover for such expenses, making our labor force’s lives a little bit better while ensuring that the youth have access to education,” he added.

Further, the bill recognized that motivation is a key factor in promoting productivity in the workforce.

“Rewards are proven to be useful drivers of motivation and such additional structured incentive may be expected to translate to effective personnel and efficient operations,” Abellanosa said.

In his proposed bill, all employers would be required to pay their workers, regardless of the nature of their employment, a 14th month salary every year in an amount equivalent to the 13th month pay.

For the annual cash benefit, the bill provides that the existing 13th month pay would be released on or before June while the 14th month salary would be released on or before December, provided that the distribution of payment may be subjected to an agreement between employer and employee or collective bargaining agent of employees.

“The 14th month salary, together with the 13th month pay and other benefits shall be excluded from the computation of gross income. Provided, however, that the total exclusion shall not exceed P82,000,” the bill reads. (FREEMAN)

ABELLANOSA ACIRC BILL CEBU CITY COUNCIL CEBU CITY SOUTH DISTRICT REP COUNCILOR ALVIN DIZON DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND EMPLOYMENT HOUSE BILL MONTH PAY PRESIDENTIAL DECREE
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