14th month pay bill filed; employers react
MANILA – The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) rejected the bill filed by Senator Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III mandating the 14th month pay for all rank and file employees.
ECOP President Edgardo Lacson said requiring all employers to grant the additional pay annually may affect the micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME), which he said make up 99.6% of the registered businesses in the country.
“Ito ‘yung mga talagang hirap na hirap sa kanilang negosyo, hindi sila makaalis because they want to keep their people, hand to mouth ‘yan karamihan eh. Baka kung pilitin nating mag-14th month ‘yan eh baka lalong magsarado,” Lacson told dzMM on Thursday.
Lacson said while some companies can afford to grant benefits of up to 21st month pay every year, these firms are in the minority.
He urged Sotto to review the bill to ensure that all sectors will benefit from it once it is passed into law.
“Dapat pag-aralan nila ng maigi kung talagang tama ‘yung 14th month pay na ‘yun, dahil sabi sa akin ay 2-page bill lang ‘yan. Hindi siguro napag-aralan ng husto,” he said.
Under Bill 1645, all government and non-government employees will be entitled to the 14th month pay, which “shall not be less than 1/12 of the total basic salary earned by the employee within the calendar year.”
The bill states that the additional pay will be given "regardless of employment status, designation and irrespective of the method by which their wages are paid."
The bill also requires that the annual 13th month pay shall be paid not later than June 14, while the 14th month pay shall be paid not later than December 24.
If passed into law, it will be named the 14th Month Pay Law.
Sotto said an additional pay is necessary because the 13th-month pay “is gobbled up by Christmas expenses.”