MANILA, Philippines – Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz on Tuesday, December 1, reminded companies to give their employees their 13th month pay on or before December 24.
“Dapat bayaran ng mga employer ang 13th month pay ng kanilang manggagawa, anuman ang uri ng trabaho nito, at ito ay walang kinalaman sa pamamaraan kung paano ibinibigay ang sahod, basta ang kanilang manggagawa ay nakapagtrabaho ng higit sa isang buwan ng kasalukuyang taon,” Baldoz said on Tuesday, the start of DOLE’s week-long celebration of its 82nd anniversary.
(Employers should give the 13th month pay to their employees who have worked for at least a month in the current year, regardless of the type of job or the manner by which the salary is being given.)
Under the Labor Code, all rank-and-file employees are entitled to receive 13th month pay, which is equivalent to the “total basic salary earned during the year divided by 12 months.”
The 13th month pay does not include the following:
“Kung ito ay hindi mababayaran sa takdang araw, ang 13th month pay ay dapat nang hingin at singilin (If this is not paid on the specified day, employees should demand it from their employers),” said Baldoz.
At a press briefing on Tuesday, Labor Undersecretary Nicon Fameronag advised workers “who are not being paid the 13th month pay to go to the nearest DOLE field office and file a request for assistance.”
DOLE will then activate its single-entry approach, wherein a DOLE representative acts as the mediator between the employer and the employee in a 30-day mandatory conciliation-mediation process. The approach is designed to effect settlement between the contending parties without having to go to court.
Companies are also required by law to submit their compliance report on the 13th month pay to DOLE before January 15, 2016.
Shorter moratium period
Photo by Mara Cepeda/Rappler
Meanwhile, Fameronag said that no workplace inspection and assessment in the National Capital Region (NCR) under the Labor Laws Compliance System (LLCS) will be conducted from December 30, 2015, to January 10, 2016.
This means that no labor laws compliance officers should be doing an assessment of workplaces during the said period.
“This is to ensure and to avoid suspicion na ang mga labor laws compliance officers are Christmas caroling. Every year ganun naman talaga until the secretary lifts the moratorium ng mga late January,” Fameronag told reporters.
(This is to ensure and to avoid suspicion that our LLCOs are Christmas caroling. That’s the policy every year until the secretary lifts the moratorium late January.)
The government considers the LLCS as a revolutionary reform in DOLE’s system of monitoring the compliance of businesses with labor laws.
Fameronag explained that the moratorium period normally lasts for a month, but DOLE needed to shorten the period for the LLCS to meet its targets for 2015 in NCR. (READ: Metro Manila needs more labor laws compliance officers)
DOLE Administrative Order No. 568, Series of 2015, directs the DOLE-NCR regional director to “ensure that 2,980 establishments be covered from November 2015 until the suspension of the joint assessment activities.” – Rappler.com