14th month pay bill filed in Senate

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Sunday, December 8, 2013

A 14TH month pay? Why not?

This is if the bill requiring an employer to pay a 14th month gets approved in Senate.

Senate Bill 1645, known as the 14th Month Pay Law, is an initiative of Senator Vicente Sotto III. The bill is still at the Committee level.

"We recognize the indispensable need to provide our Filipino laborers, both from the public and private sectors additional 14th month pay. The recent P10 increase in the minimum wage is too small. Wages have invisibly decreased due to the rise in prices of basic commodities. Improved business earnings have not cascaded on its own. The 13th month pay is gobbled up by Christmas expenses," explained Sotto on his bill.

"We need extra earnings in the middle of the year to help in school and medical expenses. Health and education needs of the ordinary Filipino must be assisted by our government. This will make the maxim attributed to President Ramon Magsaysay become a reality- 'Those who have less in life should have more in law," he added.

The bill provides that the 13th month pay must be paid not later than June 14 and the 14th month pay must be paid not later than December 24 of every year. It further states the minimum amount of the 14th month pay must not be less than 1/12 of the total basic salary earned by the employee within the calendar year.

In Cordillera, the Department of Labor and Employment has given employers until December 24 to pay the 13th month pay of their employees.

Baguio-Benguet Field Office Labor and Employment officer Engr. Jose Gamad Jr. earlier explained the computation of 13th month pay is basic pay times actual days the employee worked divided by 12 months. He said the computation does not include the cost-of-living adjustment, absents and leaves of the employee.

The 13th month pay is required by Presidential Decree (PD) 851. The decree, otherwise known as the 13th Month Pay law, is fundamentally a government implementation of monetary assistance equivalent to the monthly basic salary received by the employee.

The term "13th month pay" denotes the one twelfth of the employee's basic salary within a calendar year. On the other hand, the term "basic salary" refers to the wage or salary the employee receives from the employer for services rendered with the payouts set according to the predetermined schedule agreed by both employer and employees.

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on December 09, 2013.

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