Release 13th month pay early, employers urged

AN official of the Department of Labor and Employment yesterday said the early release of 13th month pay to augment the financial needs of employees who would be economically affected by the community quarantine in Metro Manila depends on the employers.

Labor Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez said firms could advance the release of the benefit if they are financially-capable.

“Kung mahaba-haba naman po ang pisi ng mga kumpanya, maaari na po nila itong i-advance. Ang nakasaad po sa ating batas, ang isang manggagawa na nakapagtrabaho na ng isang buwan ay entitled na sa 13th month pay. Pero nakadepende pa rin po ito doon sa pinansyal na kapasidad ng isang employer. Alam naman po natin ngayon na masikip po ‘yung operasyon, at ‘yung negosyo at kita ay nababawasan,” he said in a press briefing.

Benavidez also said the proposed mechanism still needs to be carefully studied by the affected companies.
 
Meanwhile, he said the DOLE has initially earmarked P2 billion for the general financial assistance and emergency employment programs offered to displaced workers.