Gov’t open to bill pushing 14th month pay for workers: DOLE

MANILA — The government is open to the proposal seeking to grant 14th month pay to workers.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Silvestre Bello noted that they started consultation with labor and management in connection with the proposed measure.

He added that President Rodrigo Duterte has also consulted his economic managers regarding the proposal seeking to give additional bonus to workers, apart from the 13th month pay mandated by law.

“The President is consulting his economic advisers and we (at the DOLE) are also consulting both labor and management on the feasibility of a 14th month pay,” Bello said in an interview Tuesday.

“In other words, our President has the openness on such proposal,” he added.

The DOLE chief, meanwhile, believes that such a mandatory pay would be feasible since it will only be given annually.

“If we are against it, then we will not even start consultation,” he added.

Bello, however, said that their endorsement will both depend on the result of their consultation with stakeholders and also the President’s consultations with his economic advisers.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III filed Senate Bill No. 2, which proposes that employees both in the public and private sector, regardless of their employment status or designation, are entitled to 14th month pay, as long as they worked for at least one month during the calendar year.

At present, some private companies split the 13th month pay into two, with the first half given in May or June while the other half is released in December.

Under Executive Order 201 signed by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2016, government employees are entitled to a midyear and yearend bonus equivalent to one-month basic salary each, which are given in May and November, respectively. (PNA)