By Ferdinand Patinio
MANILA – Private employers have until Christmas Eve to release the 13th month pay of their workers, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said on Friday.
In a statement, Labor Secretary Bienvenido Laguesma said the Dec. 24 deadline for the grant of the benefit is mandated by law.
“Until tomorrow (Saturday), the law is giving our employers to pay their workers. We have earlier issued a reminder for them to pay the benefit early so that the workers and their families can plan or budget whatever amount they will receive for their feasts for the holidays,” Laguesma said.
“Some companies have policies of releasing the bonus early or late November or early December, thus, giving workers much time to prepare for the season, what dishes to serve or gifts to give their loved ones and friends,” he added.
At the same time, Laguesma reminded the employers that there is no extension in giving 13th month pay.
“We understand the situation of companies since many of them are still recovering or starting to recover from the effects of the pandemic. The law is harsh but it is the law,” he added.
On the other hand, he reported that in 2021, over 90 percent of companies complied with the payment of the 13th month pay.
Earlier, the DOLE issued guidelines which are pursuant to Article 5 of the Labor Code of the Philippines, as renumbered, and Presidential Decree No. 851 requiring employers in the private sector to pay their rank-and-file employees of the said benefit.
It noted that the minimum 13th month pay shall not be less than one-twelfth (1/12) of the total basic salary earned by an employee within a calendar year.
Those who are entitled to 13th month pay are rank-and-file employees in the private sector regardless of their position, designation, or employment status, and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid, provided that they have worked for at least one month during the calendar year. (PNA)