Ne­gocc la­bor lauds re­fil­ing of 14th month bill

Sun Star Bacolod - - Business - BY ERWIN P. NICAVERA

FOR a la­bor group in Ne­gros Oc­ci­den­tal, the measure seek­ing anew the pro­vi­sion of 14th month pay for pri­vate sec­tor workers in the coun­try is a wel­come devel­op­ment.

Wen­nie San­cho, sec­re­tary gen­eral of Gen­eral Al­liance of Workers As­so­ci­a­tions (Gawa), said 14th month pay will serve as sup­ple­men­tal in­come for the workers to aug­ment their mea­ger salary.

“The man­age­ment has to un­der­stand that the 13th month pay be­ing re­ceived by the workers is al­ready passé as there have been re­duc­tions on their pur­chas­ing power,” he added.

On July 1, Senate Pres­i­dent Vi­cente Sotto III filed Senate Bill 10 that seeks to re­quire em­ploy­ers in the pri­vate sec­tor to re­mu­ner­ate the 14th month pay.

Prior to this, Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 2 also seek­ing for 14th month pay which has been pend­ing in the Senate since July 2016.

The se­na­tor said the 13th month pay is gob­bled up by Christ­mas ex­penses. Thus, there is a need for ex­tra earn­ings in the mid­dle of the year to help or­di­nary workers in school and med­i­cal ex­penses.

“Health and ed­u­ca­tion needs of the or­di­nary Filipino must be as­sisted by our govern­ment,” Sotto said, stress­ing that the lat­est wage in­crease of P25 is too small com­pared to the daily ex­penses of or­di­nary workers.

He fur­ther said that im­proved busi­ness earn­ings have not cas­caded on its own and that sev­eral la­bor groups have been pe­ti­tion­ing for the in­crease in min­i­mum wage.

The pro­posed measure cov­ers all non-govern­ment rank and file em­ploy­ees re­gard­less of their em­ploy­ment status, des­ig­na­tion and ir­re­spec­tive of the method by which their wages are paid pro­vided that they have worked at least one month dur­ing the cal­en­dar year.

Un­der which, the 13th month pay shall be paid not later than June 14 and the 14th month pay shall be paid not later than De­cem­ber 24 of ev­ery year pro­vided, how­ever, that the fre­quency of pay­ment of this mone­tary ben­e­fits may be the sub­ject of agree­ment be­tween em­ployer and em­ployee or any rec­og­nized or col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agent of em­ploy­ees.

The pro­posal pegs the min­i­mum amount of the 14th month pay at not less than 1/12 of the to­tal ba­sic salary earned by the em­ployee within the cal­en­dar year. It should not be below the em­ploy­ees’ ba­sic salary.

San­cho again called on law­mak­ers, es­pe­cially those from Ne­gros, to sup­port the pro­posed measure as it will ben­e­fit thou­sands of workers in the province as well as their fam­i­lies.

“This should be a na­tional ef­fort,” San­cho said, re­it­er­at­ing that “em­ploy­ees in the govern­ment have been en­joy­ing many perks that can also be shared to pri­vate sec­tor workers."

The la­bor leader said con­sid­er­ing the high prices of ba­sic goods and ser­vices, there should be a sup­ple­men­tal in­come like in the form of 14th-month pay for the workers in the pri­vate sec­tor.

The lo­cal busi­ness, ear­lier, ex­pressed ap­pre­hen­sions on the bill as “it may de­ter busi­ness growth.”

Frank Carbon, chief

ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of Metro Ba­colod Cham­ber of Com­merce and Industry (MBCCI), said the pro­posal to re­quire pri­vate com­pa­nies to pay their rank-and­file em­ploy­ees a 14thmonth pay will lead to lazi­ness on the part of the workers.

“It will not in­vite busi­nesses to grow,” Carbon said, adding that “what is needed maybe is in­cen­tive or pro­duc­tiv­ity bonus, not a 14th-month pay that will make workers to just wait in­stead of en­cour­ag­ing them to work hard.”/with re­ports from Suns­tar Philippine­s

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