DOLE bucks 14th month pay proposal
MANILA - The government is against a bill of Sen. Vicente Sotto III seeking 14th month pay for workers nationwide.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said a 14th month pay could bring more harm than good to workers, particularly those employed in small and medium enterprises.
“While everybody would like additional benefits, it’s a matter of how you can give it,” she said.
Baldoz said 99.6 percent of commercial establishments nationwide are considered small and medium enterprises employing a little over 10 workers and could not afford a 14th month pay.
“Affordability is the issue,” she said.
Baldoz said a 14th month pay could bring huge additional cost for employers and lead to closures of many commercial establishments and mass displacement of thousands of workers.
Baldoz said only big companies must be required to give 14th month pay.
“We should be thinking more of the 2.9 million unemployed and 17 million underemployed,” she said. The granting of additional incentives must depend on negotiations between employers and employees or must be performance-based, Baldoz said.
Sotto said workers need another bonus package since the 13th month pay is usually used to pay for Christmas expenses. – With Christina Mendez, Evelyn Macairan