The 13th month shall be distributed on a pro rata basis, said the Malacañang earlier this week. What does this mean for people and employees? Basically, it means that employees would not be able to receive their full pay this year, instead, their 13th month will be according to the actual salary earned.
Labor Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez expounded the addition of the minimum amount of benefit can be calculated if you add all the actual salaries and divide the amount by twelve (12).
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque added by saying employees may receive either half or the 13th month pay; again, it would depend on the actual salaries of the workers. He said it during a press briefing.
If you worked for 12 months, you can either receive one month’s salary or the 13th month pay. However, if you only worked for 6 months, you will only get half of the 13th month pay.”
Even workers who failed to attend to their duties during quarantine may still receive their 13th month, he added. The government plans to reopen the economy despite the health crisis so that workers could resume and be able to sustain themselves during these times.
Reopening the Economy
Roque said that we can’t just hide in these dire times; that’s why they’re cooking up a few plans for local employees.
We believe that Filipinos should learn to live even if COVID-19 is still there. We cannot hide in caves while COVID-19 is still there, like what few people want us to do.”
Moreover, he claimed that this is why the transportation sector will resume once again as well. People would be unable to report for work if the transportation sector remains closed.
The cause of 13th month on pro rata basis is due to the coronavirus pandemic. The sudden rise of the pandemic majorly impacted against businesses which essentially paralyzed their operations. As a result, business establishments forcibly reduced their work hours, reinforce different work arrangements for the benefits of employers, or give up workers.
Hotbed of Issue
The 13th month pay became a nationwide issue when Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III suggested the possible exemption of struggling business establishments from giving the 13th month.
However, Bello III clarified last week that employers must distribute the 13th month pay to employers no later than December 24 as required by Presidential Decree No. 851.
Bello III went under fire for his statement. Labor and civic society groups urged government agencies to provide struggling business establishments cash aid to guarantee all employees and workers to receive their 13th month.
Henceforth, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is asking help from the Department of Finance (DOF) for their aid towards micro and small enterprises upon the distribution of their 13th month pay through either government subsidy or loans.
At a press briefing, Roque said that the Department of Finance (DoF) is on the move of helping; they’re just waiting for information that would stem from DOLE.
The DOF will act on that because if we do not have a funding source, even if the IATF (Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases) approves it, nothing will happen.”
Bello III added that the agency must attain a Php 13.7 billion worth of money to be able to subsidize the 13th month pay of struggling businesses such as micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMES).
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Work Shift Rearrangement
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) proposes the rearrangement of work shifts that will suit workers best for their transportation needs.
Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez said that the DTI is resolute upon issuing a circular to encourage companies for the implementation of a work shit rearrangement. As per him, this’ll assist all workers with their daily transport needs.
This means having different office hours to spread passengers and transport needs of those going to the office or places of work.”
Employees may go to work at 8 am while others may do so at 9 am, 10 am, or even 11 am; depending on their companies and employers.
This type of working arrangement is being encouraged as well as flexible work-from-home arrangements. Private companies may decide how they will adapt to the new working arrangement.
What about you? How do you feel about the fact that the 13th month will be on a pro rata basis? Is it something that’s necessary? Or could this be stopped to help out all local employees and workers?
Source: CNN Philippines