BY LESLIE ANN G. AQUINO
The Department on Labor and Employment (DoLE) on Thursday said it will not allow the postponement, deferment or exemption of the payment of the 13th month pay.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said this will be the content of the order that they will release on Friday regarding the issue of the 13th month pay as well as their answer to the request of employers to extend the period to rehire employees who were temporarily terminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said: “It cannot be deferred. The provision in Presidential Decree 851 is very specific that the employers should pay the employees 13th month pay on or before December 24. There’s a slight complication because the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) issued by the late former labor secretary Blas Ople, there is an exception. He stated there are employers or companies in distress should be exempted from paying the 13th month pay.”
“Based on our deliberation, there should be no exemption. That’s why we are requiring all employers to pay their employees on or before Dec. 24 the 13th month pay,” he added.
The labor chief said they are currently preparing a proposal to Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez to possibly give subsidy to employers categorized as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) or give them an opportunity to make loans with banks.