P13B needed for distressed firms to give 13th month pay
The government may have to shoulder as much as P13 billion if it were to subsidize the payment of the 13th month pay of workers employed by businesses wrecked by the economic impact of COVID-19.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Friday that based on their computation, the government would need between P3.7 billion and P13 billion to ensure that workers of micro and small enterprises would get their mandated financial incentive.
Bello noted, though, that they have yet to submit to the Department of Finance their proposal for a subsidy since they would have to first reconcile their numbers with that of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA).
While the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) recorded that around 1.5 million workers have been affected by COVID-19, the PSA’s data showed a much higher figure at 5.1 million.
In an advisory on Friday, Bello stressed that “no request or application for exemption from payment of 13th month, or for deferment of the payment thereof shall be accepted and allowed” by the Dole.
He added that the minimum amount of the bonus should not be less than one-twelfth of the worker’s basic salary.
Bello said he raised the proposed subsidy with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases but declined to disclose how it was taken.
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