'Law is Clear' on 13th Month Pay By Dec. 24, Says Labor Chief

Exemptions, if any, must be discussed first.
Photo/s: Joel Guinto/reportr.world

Workers are entitled under law to their 13th Month Pay by Christmas Eve, Labor Sec. Silvestre Bello III said Tuesday after an employers group warned that the pandemic could imperil its release.

"Maliwanag yung batas, kailangan bayaran (The law is clear, it must be paid) on or before Dec. 24." Bello told TeleRadyo.

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Under Presidential Decree No. 851, all employers must pay their employees for a 13th month except those who are distressed — "currently incurring substantial losses," or "has consistently declined by more than 40% of their normal income for the last two years" in the case of non-profit institutions and organizations.

The definition of distressed in the current context has to be defined, he said. If computation and payment need to be adjusted and extended, it will depend on the company's circumstances during lockdown, he said.

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