Gov’t aid sought to help firms comply with 13th month pay

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Instead of deferring the release of the mandated 13th month pay, several labor groups and even businessmen suggested that government come to the aid of small businesses so that they can comply with the law and workers can get their 13th month pay in time for the Christmas season.

The groups said it is a better alternative than scrapping or even delaying the release of the 13th month pay.

Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) spokesman Alan Tanjusay said that the groups agreed that it is better for the government to help out small firms who have no financial capacity to issue 13th month pay to their employees.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said an option it is looking at is to “subsidize” the 13th month pay of employees working for “distressed” businesses.

DOLE Undersecretary Benjo Benavidez earlier said that it is studying the possibility of extending financial assistance to companies badly hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, which is among the proposals considered during the National Tripartite Council meeting with labor groups, employers group, and the government.

One criteria they are looking at to consider a company as “distressed” is if it has lost revenues of at least 50 percent for the last three quarters. However, he said this is still being studied by the DOLE.

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