The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) would need up to P13 billion for the proposed subsidy intended to help micro and small businesses provide the required 13th month pay of their workers.
Labor Secretary Silverstre Bello III on Friday said they would have to shell out subsidy ranging from P3.7 billion to P13 billion for about 1.5 million to 5.1 million workers.
“They (micro and small enterprises) will be assisted through a government subsidy so that they could pay the 13th month pay of their employees,” Bello said.
Bello said the DOLE will have to determine the exact amount of subsidy through the number of affected workers based on either the data of the labor department or the Philippine Statistics Authority.
On Friday, Bello already signed Labor Advisory 28 to provide guidelines on the payment of 13th month pay of workers and to reiterate that employers must pay on or before December 24 this year.
Small firms would need to apply to avail of the assistance and provide documents showing that they are classified as micro, small business establishment and the amount of their losses.
“They just need to apply not for exemption but for subsidy from the government to pay the 13th month of their employees. They have to apply and it is up to DOLE to determine whether they are entitled to a subsidy,” Bello explained.
“First option is to provide them with a subsidy. If the government is not able to do that we will facilitate the (provision of) loan facilities for them,” he added.
Bello said, however, it would still depend on the Department of Finance to determine the kind of loan facilities that could be extended to the enterprises that will not be given subsidy.