Workers must get 13th month pay, Palace reminds business owners

Published October 14, 2021, 3:30 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque reminded companies Thursday, Oct. 14 that there are no exceptions when it comes to releasing 13th month pay to employees, even amid the protracted coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Restaurant staff ready tables with acrylic barriers in Manila on Sept. 15, 2021. (Ali Vicoy/ MANILA BULLETIN)

“Ang sagot po ay hindi dahil yan po ay batas (The answer is no, there are no exceptions because that is a matter of law),” Roque said in a virtual press conference, referring to local companies’ responsibility of providing their workers with a 13th month pay.

But that doesn’t mean that the government won’t help the smaller industries in facilitating the payment of this holiday season benefit.

“Dahil alam natin na maraming small and medium-scale industries na nahihirapan nga po dahil nag-lockdown nanaman tayo, eh magbibigay naman po ang assistance ang ating gobyerno sa pamamagitan ng small business corporation, ‘no (Since we recently had a lockdown and we know that a lot of small and medium-scale industries are struggling, the government will be giving assistance through small business corporation),” Roque said.

“Para doon sa mga small and medium-scale industries na kinakailangan ng tulong pambayad sa 13th month pay (This is for the small and medium-scale industries that need help in giving 13th month pay),” the Palace official added. He didn’t elaborate.

The National Capital Region (NCR), the center of commerce in the country, last underwent a hard lockdown last August due to the initial spread of the COVID-19 Delta variant.

NCR or Metro Manila has since dropped the region-wide quarantine classification scheme in favor of the Alert Level System (ALS) in the effort to give businesses a shot at recovering their losses via limited operations.

Presidential Adviser on Entrepreneurship and Go Negosyo founder Joey Concepcion earlier said that companies need a strong fourth quarter in order to gather enough funds to release as 13th month pay for their employees.

The fourth and last quarter of the year is traditionally the strongest quarter in terms of business.