Before the implementation of the entire Luzon enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), President Rodrigo Duterte urged private employers to give the 13th month pay in advance to employees because of they have no means of earning money for their families in the middle of this national health emergency.
This has put excitement on private workers but of course, it’s going to be up to the employers. In accordance with this, Mike Defensor, Anaklusugan Party-list representative said that the government should release gov’t workers’ midyear incentive early, too.
Only one (1) month in advance
Defensor said that if the President decides to authorize the payment next weekend, the advance would only seem like it’s one (1) month compared to the 13th month salaries of private sector workers.
If President Duterte authorizes its payment next weekend or on April 15, we are advancing it only by one month. The government loses nothing, but our employees in the bureaucracy will have more money during this public health emergency.”
When the midyear incentive should be released originally
With his statement, Defensor stressed that the midyear bonus is originally scheduled to be dispersed and given to public sector workers not earlier than May 15 of every year; he cited the Circular No. 579 on the National Budget from Secretary Wendel Avisado.
In addition to that, Defensor said that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) made the announcement that the budget for the midyear incentive was already available; hence, it’s ready to be given to the workers.
Should the President consider ordering each agency to release the incentive next weekend, it’ll be a big assistance to the workers.
The “public sector should do the same”
Defensor said that it’s just fair for gov’t workers to receive their midyear bonus early if private sector workers are going to be given this privilege.
If the government is appealing to private employers to pay the 13th -month salary of their employees in advance to tide them over the enhanced community quarantine, the public sector should do the same.”
With the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the goal is straight and it is to properly contain the virus so that it wouldn’t spread like how it did in other countries. Filipinos are following and the virus is slowly being contained.
However, the problem with it is the fact that a majority of people do not have any means of earning money for their families; signing that a lot of families can go hungry. What are people doing about this?
Help from the Philippine Government
Just recently, both the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) pledged to provide financial assistance to workers.
In fact, the DOLE said that they’ll help workers from the informal sector to have jobs. They are referring to the street vendors, tricycle drivers, and the like because everything is shutdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Moreover, the DOLE also said that they’ll be helping private sector workers by providing P5K of subsidiary allowance. You can find out more information about this here.
The DSWD, on the other hand, announced that they’re providing about 18 million households P5K to P8K worth of allowances for two (2) months to help while everyone is stuck at home due to the quarantine.
That being said, the PH government is doing its fair share of helping people in the situation they are in right now. The government, as we all know, wouldn’t be able to accommodate everyone right away; so people need to wait.
Until when will the quarantine be?
Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles announced that there’s no specifications yet on whether the quarantine will be lifted or extended. However, he shared some of the results of the meeting the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) had.
No exact words have been announced about what the directive will be in the context of the enhanced community quarantine. The meeting they had was for the purpose of coping with the virus; including their plan of “massive testing” which will start on the 14th of April.
Other factors included the fact that more and more people are being infected with lesser and lesser being treated and recovering.
In conclusion, Defensor’s petition of giving gov’t workers’ midyear incentive earlier is just right, especially if no other decision was drafted in their meetings.
Are you a worker of the public sector? Do you yearn to have this petition signed and acknowledged by our dear President? What do you think of the idea that the gov’t workers’ midyear incentive should be given just a month early?