Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III would rather have the government provide subsidy to small and micro enterprises instead of giving them soft loans for the payment of the 13th month pay of their employees.

bello 1024x682 - Bello prefers subsidy, not soft loans, for MSEs to give 13th month pay
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III

“Wala na ngang pera,  pauutangin mo pa (They no longer have money yet they still have to borrow) just to pay the 13th month pay. Lalong makakabigat sa kanila yun (That will be an added burden to them),” he said in an online forum Wednesday.

“I would prefer to prioritize the subsidy…I’m not giving up on that yet,” added Bello.

The labor chief said even Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez is not opposed to the idea of giving subsidy.

“Even Sec. Dominguez of DOF is not against it except that he asked me to look for the fund source,” said Bello.

Still, he said, they are preparing another option which is the loan facility.

During a Malacanang press briefing on Tuesday, Bello said rural bankers have expressed willingness to provide soft loans to micro and small business enterprises.

He said the Department of Trade and Industry is also willing to provide the same.

“I just received a letter from Secretary Mon (Ramon) Lopez of DTI and they have a fund of P10 billion in their small business corporation, which is their attached agency. They are willing to share about P4 billion of that for soft loans for micro and small business enterprises,” Bello said.

Under Presidential Decree 851, employers in the private sector are required to pay their rank-and-file employees a 13th month pay on or before December 24 as part of their mandated benefits. 

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