Sotto bill seeks 14th month pay for private employees

MANILA, Philippines – Senate Majority Leader Vicente "Tito" Sotto III has again filed a bill seeking to give 14th month pay to workers in the private sector.

Senate Bill Number 2 entitled "An Act Requiring Employers In the Private Sector to Pay 14th Month Pay" covers all non-government rank and file employees who have worked for at least a month during the calendar year.

In filing the measure, Sotto cited Article 2, Section 18 of the 1987 Constitution, saying "The state affirms labor as primary social economic force. It shall protect the rights of workers and promote their welfare."

Sotto also filed a similar bill in the 16th Congress.

The senator said 14th month pay is needed because the recent P10 minimum wage increase is "too small" and the mandated 13th month pay is "gobbled up by Christmas expenses."

"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," Sotto said.

Citing former president Ramon Magsaysay, he added that "those who have less in life should have more in law."

The bill mandates that 13th month pay be given not later than June 14 while 14th month pay should be handed out not later than December 24.

The minimum amount of 14th month pay shall not be "less than 1/12 of the total basic salary" of an employee in a calendar year. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email