Department Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silvestre Bello has expressed that the government would be open to a proposal seeking to grant 14th month pay to Filipino workers.
Bello noted that DOLE has started consultation with labor and management groups in connection with this proposed measure.
Current Philippine law mandates 13th month pay for workers, but according to Bello, President Rodrigo Duterte has already consulted his economic managers regarding the proposal extending additional bonuses or 14th month pay.
“The President is consulting his economic advisers and we (at the DOLE) are also consulting both labor and management on the feasibility of a 14th month pay,” Bello said on Tuesday in an interview.
Bello then expressed that the President is thus open to the proposal. He also said that the mandatory bonus pay would be feasible to implement, as it would only be given annually.
Regarding the stance of the government, the DOLE chief said, “If we are against it, then we will not even start consultation.”
This openness is not to be mistaken for a full endorsement of the proposal. Bello clarified further than an endorsement would depend on the results of ongoing consultations with various stakeholders, as well as the President consultations with his economic advisers.
The proposal was submitted by Senate President Vicente Sotto III. Senate Bill No. 2 proposes that employees of both the public or private sector, regardless of employment status or designation, would be entitled to 14th month pay. A condition to this is that the worker had rendered at least one month during the calendar year.
Currently, some companies practice splitting the mandated 13th month pay bonus into two remissions, the first half typically being given in May or June and the other half being released in December.