Employees in the private sector should receive 14th month pay: Sotto

Amid continued price increases of the basic commodities in the country, Senate President Vicente C. Sotto III on Monday, July 1, filed a bill requiring employers to provide a 14th month pay to the Filipino workers in the country.

“The 13th month pay is gobbled up by Christmas expenses. We need extra earnings in the middle of the year to help ordinary workers in school and medical expenses,” Sotto said in filing Senate Bill No. 10.

“Health and education needs of the ordinary Filipino must be assisted by our government,” the Senate chief said, stressing that the latest wage increase of P25 is too small compared to the daily expenses of ordinary workers.

He said improved business earnings have not cascaded on its own and that several labor groups have been petitioning for the increase in minimum wage. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has said it continues to study current settings for minimum wages after various wage hike petitions were filed before Labor Day.

Only the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) of each region has the authority to adjust wages, and only after 12 months lapse since the last wage order in November last year.

Under the proposed measures, it covers all non-government rank and file employees regardless of their employment status, designation and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid provided that they have worked at least one month during the calendar year.

SB 10 proposes that the 13th month pay shall be paid not later than June 14th and the 14th month pay shall be paid not later than December 24th of every year provided however that the frequency of payment of this monetary benefits may be the subject of agreement between employer and employee or any recognized/collective bargaining agent of employees.

The Bill also suggests that the minimum amount of the 14th month pay shall not be less than 1/12 of the total basic salary earned by the employee within the calendar year.

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

Within sixty days from the enactment of this law, the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall promulgate the implementing rules of this law. SENATE