MANILA, Philippines – Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez of DOLE states that in accordance with the Labor Code of the Philippines and Presidential Decree 851, to provide the 13th month pay is mandatory.
“There is no sanction or penalty for this but we have what we call ‘compliance order’ that we can issue against these employers. And if the company doesn’t abide by this compliance order since it’s similar to a court decision, a writ of execution can be issued and their account/s can be garnished or their properties and the proceeds of such can be given to workers who weren’t provided their 13th month pay.” Benavidez said in a recent interview.
“There are small businesses making appeals but 13th month pay is a legal obligation. Payment is the only remedy to extinguish a legal obligation. Covered employers are legally required to pay.” he added.
Individuals eligible for the payment include rank-and-file workers in the private sector, irrespective of their position, title, or job status, and regardless of the manner in which they receive their wages. Eligibility is contingent on having worked for a minimum of one month within the calendar year.
This encompasses employees compensated through piece-rate, fixed, or guaranteed wage plus commission structures, as well as those with multiple employers. It also extends to individuals who have resigned, been terminated from their employment, or have been on maternity leave and received salary differentials.
Recently, DOLE released guidelines regarding the calculation of the 13th month pay. It must not be less than one-twelfth (1/12) of the total basic salary earned by an employee throughout the calendar year. The computation is as follows: total basic salary divided by 12 months equals the proportionate 13th month pay.
For additional inquiries about the 13th month pay, the public is encouraged to contact the DOLE Hotline 1349, which is operational 24/7. Alternatively, they can reach out via call or text to 0931-066-2573, available Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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