DOLE orders release of 13th month pay of workers

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - October 20, 2020 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment has issued guidelines on the payment of the 13th month pay for private employees.

Issued by DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III, Labor Advisory No. 28 stated that no request or application for exemption from such payment or for deferment of the payment shall be accepted or allowed.

Bello stated that rank-and-file employees in the private sector shall be entitled to such payment regardless of their position, designation or employment status and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid, provided that they have worked for at least one month during the calendar year.

Associated Labor Unions (ALU) National Executive Vice President Gerard Seno said that this is definitely a good news to millions of employees who were demoralized these past two weeks upon knowing that their 13th month pay payment might be deferred or altogether scrapped.

 “The working people are happy and thankful to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello for breaking the 13th month pay payment deadlock by its decision today to heed their appeal to disallow the deferment of payment and give exemptions to the payment of 13th month pay of employees this year,” Seno said in a statement.

For his part, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) President and TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza lauded Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez for supporting the decision of DOLE by way of helping troubled businesses pay their 13th month pay obligations on time by aiding them to loan facilities at very low interest.

“Kahit paano may pangtulong pambili ng pang-noche buena ang mga manggagawa at kanilang pamilya ngayong Pasko,” said Mendoza.

ALU and TUCP underscored the tripartite dialogue process discussion that took place brokered by Bello as key to the seeming 13th month pay payment impasse between labor groups, employers and business and government.

“This positive development proves that social dialogue between labor, business and government particularly on important issues involving these key sectors really works," Seno added.

The advisory also stated that the minimum 13th month pay required by law shall not be less than one-twelfth (1/12) of the total basic salary earned by an employee within a calendar year.

This minimum amount shall be provided without prejudice to existing company practice and policy, employment contract or collective bargaining agreement, if any.

It added that the 13th month pay shall be paid by the employer on or before December 24, 2020.

The advisory further stated that employers shall make a report to the nearest DOLE regional office its compliance of such payment not later than January 15, 2021. -  GMR (FREEMAN)

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