PRRD asks employers to release 13th month pay or half-salary in advance to workers

Published March 16, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Genalyn Kabiling

President Duterte has called on employers to give workers their 13th month pay or half of salary in advance after Luzon was placed on “enhanced community quarantine” on Monday over the coronavirus pandemic.

President Rodrigo Duterte (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
President Rodrigo Duterte

Extending such an incentive would show solidarity with the Filipinos in the face of the country’s public health emergency, the President said.

“The problem is really economy. Iyong sanang malalaking (Those big) enterprises dito (here), maybe you can consider paying the 13th month pay or just paying them maski kalahati sa sweldo nila kung walang trabaho (even half of their salary if they have no work) as a way of showing your solidarity with the Filipino at this critical time,” the President said in his public address Monday night.

The President also called for other measures to help affected workers and residents of Luzon such as a moratorium on lease rentals as well as a reprieve in utility bills.

He likewise asked the business leaders to provide assistance to micro-, small- and medium-scale enterprises that may be affected by the quarantine.

“But I’d like to address ‘yung mga mayayaman (the rich ones) like, for example, well, itong Pangilinan and the Ayalas and sila Coson sa itong mga (of these) big companies, Robinsons, you might be able really to alleviate the situation by just understanding also the plight of the workers who are not working now and lawfully not really in a position to demand,” he said.

“But I said kayo na lang umiintindi (you be the one to understand) and if you try to help, kindly — tumulong na lang kayo (just help),” he added.

The President made the appeal as the government starts to implement community quarantine over Luzon.

The regions-wide quarantine, authorized by the President, includes strict home quarantine, suspension of public transport, ban on mass gatherings, and land, air, and sea travel restrictions to curb the spread of the coronavirus. It will take effect from 12 midnight of March 17 until 12 midnight of April 13.

“We cannot really control the contagion perfectly. We want it to be perfect but there will be downsides,” he said.