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Employment News

Senate Bill Wants to Make 14th Month Pay Mandatory

Date Posted: Oct 3, 2013

 Aside from the yearly 13th month bonus that is given every end of the year, Filipino employees might soon look forward to a mid-year bonus too. That is if the bill that was recently filed by the Deputy Senate minority leader, Tito Sotto would be approved. Sotto's new proposal wants to require employers in the public and private sector to give 14th month pay to rank and file employees.


The Senator argues that an additional bonus package is necessary because the 13th month pay is not enough as most of it goes to Christmas expenses.


He said, “We need extra earnings in the middle of the year to help ordinary workers in school and medical expenses for their family,” Sotto said.


Sotto likewise criticized the recent minimum wage increase saying that the additional Php10 is “too small compared to the daily expenses of ordinary Filipino workers.”


Under the proposed Senate Bill 1645,workers who have been employed for at least one month are entitled to received the bonus package. It also states that 13th month pay should be given before June 14 and the 14th month pay should be given not later than December 24 every year provided however that the frequency of payment of this monetary benefit may be the subject of agreement between the employer and the employee or any recognized/collective bargaining agent of


The minimum amount for the 14tth month pay should not be lower than 1/12 of the total basic wage earned by the employee within the calendar year.


Sotto said “Once passed into law, this will make the maxim attributed to President Ramon Magsaysay that 'those who have less in life should have more in law.'"


The proposed bill is welcomed by different organizations of workers. The Secretary General of Kilusang Mayo Uno, Roger Soluta said. “We are happy with the proposal of Sen. Sotto because the workers are hard up”

However, the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is opposing the implementation of the bill reasoning that small and medium enterprises already have a hard time paying the 13th month pay and abiding by the latest wage hike order.

“Politicians should stay out of the issue because there is no economic rationale, the basis for the decision is becoming political,” The ECOP honarary chair, Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said,

Meanwhile, the Office of the President said that the proposed bill needs further study and consultation.


Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte said, “As these things are, we can’t give the 14th month blindly. What if the employer cannot afford it? Then that necessarily would have to mean a reduction in the labor force, which we also do not want.”

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