Labor group Associated Labor Union on Thursday, Oct. 15, welcomed the statement made by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III that it will not allow the deferment and exemption to the payment of 13th month pay.
“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,” said National Executive Vice President Gerard Seno in a statement.
Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) President and TUCP Party-list Rep. Raymond Mendoza lauded Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez for supporting the decision of DOLE by helping troubled businesses pay their 13th month pay obligations on time by aiding them to loan facilities at very low interest.
The ALU and TUCP also underscored the tripartite dialogue that took place Oct. 13 as key to the seeming 13th month pay payment impasse between labor groups, employers and businesses, and government.
“This positive development proves that social dialogue between labor, business, and government particularly on important issues involving these key sectors really works,” said Seno.
The Kilusang Mayo Uno, meantime, said the national government, through appropriate agencies, must allot subsidies for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) who are struggling amid the pandemic and economic crisis to ensure that workers will receive what is due to them.
“The government should provide assistance to distressed companies instead of [allocating] money to war and pork barrel,” Elmer Labog, chairperson of KMU, said.
KMU also asked the workers to be vigilant and continue to be united as they monitor the implementation of the order which is set to be released by the labor department on Oct. 16.