Sun.Star Baguio

Employers reminded of 13th month pay obligation

- Jonathan Llanes Sun*Star Reporter

EMPLOYERS in the Cordillera Administra­tive Region (CAR) are once again reminded to obligate 13th month pay to their workers.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Silverstre Bello III said in his recent visit to Baguio City for the distributi­on of the Tulong Panghanapb­uhay para sa Ating Disadvanta­ged/ Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, employers are mandated to compensate 13th month pay.

“Actually, we do not have to remind our employers here in the Cordillera Region because our employers are aware of the legal mandate that on or before December 24, their employees should receive their 13th month pay. There are no exemptions, there are no deferment and no postponeme­nt which is why that has to be given to the employees,” Bello said.

The 13th-month pay is a mandatory benefit provided to employees pursuant to Presidenti­al Decree No. 851.

Thirteenth month pay is 1/12 of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year.

The basic salary includes all remunerati­ons or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered, but may not include cost- of- living allowances ( COLA), profit- sharing payments, cash equivalent­s of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night shift differenti­al pay, holiday pay, and all allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered, or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the employee.

“In fairness to our employers, so far as of today, we still have to receive a complaint by an employee against employers that have failed to pay the 13th month pay of their employees. The employers know their obligation that on or before December 24, that should be given to the employees with no exemption,” added Bello.

DOLE noted most of the employers in the country have advanced half of the 13th month pay for their employees for them to be able to pay the remaining half of the 13th month pay by December 24 this year.

“In the event that a n employer will fail to pay the 13th month pay, we will issue an order telling them to pay and if they do not or refuse to pay, we will issue an order which is final and executory which will be the basis of an act of garnishmen­t, meaning,

if we will garnish their funds from the bank if any but if there is none, then we will have to garnish their personal properties which will be sold and then be paid to the employees,” Bello added.

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