DOLE eyes soft loans for employers to fund their workers’ 13th month pay
MANILA, Philippines — Considering the business closures and restrictions that came with the pandemic, soft loans are being eyed for employers who are struggling to pay the 13th month pay for their employees, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Thursday.
Bello said he has already met with the Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) and Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez to discuss giving soft loans to employers to help them pay for the 13th-month pay of their employees, which is required under the law.
“Para sa ganun magampanan nila [employers], they can fulfill their obligation under the law, to pay the 13th-month pay of all their employees on or before December of this year,” he said in a Laging Handa public briefing.
(So that they can fulfill their obligation under the law to pay all their employees with their 13th-month pay on or before December this year.)
Bello said the ECOP’s president, Sergio R. Ortiz-Luis, Jr., had a positive reaction to the idea and aims to continue talks with Lopez.
The labor chief also said they will also inform Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III to coordinate with the loan facilities.
Bello said he recognizes the plight of employers, especially those in micro, small, and medium enterprises in continuing their businesses amid the pandemic.
“Talagang I can feel the agony of the employers. Talagang gipit na gipit na sila,” he said.
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