Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III on Wednesday said he is considering the proposal of employers for the government to subsidize the 13th-month pay of workers employed by companies in distress.
“I will consider what the employers said…Im going to ask help from my partner Secretary [Ramon] Lopez of DTI (Department of Trade and Industry] to court the Finance Secretary (Carlos Dominguez),” he told Teleradyo.
“He might consider government subsidizing distressed employers (in providing 13th month pay),” added Bello.
NAGKAISA Labor Coalition Chairman Sonny Matula, on Tuesday, said the labor and employers sectors agreed to the proposal of the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) for the government to subsidize the 13th month payment of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to their employees.
The National Tripartite Industrial Peace Council composed of labor groups, business and employers, and government met Tuesday to discuss the issue on 13th month pay among others.
During the said meeting, workers strongly opposed giving exemptions to the payment of 13th month pay.
According to Bello, the workers want the 13th month pay be paid as it is provided for by law.
“The workers want to be paid the 13th month pay as stipulated in Presidential Decree 851,” he said.
“The employers in turn…are willing to give but are really incapable due to their losses,” added Bello.
He said he is meeting with their senior officials on the said day to study the proposal.
Under PD 851, all employers are required to pay all their employees a 13th-month pay not later than December 24 of every year.
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of PD No. 851, however, provides exemption to the payment of the 13th month pay if they are deemed as “distressed employers”, or those that are currently incurring substantial losses.