The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) must coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to make sure employees are receiving the mandatory 13th month pay.

Senator Raffy Tulfo suggested to Assistant Secretary Lennard Serrano that DOLE and LGUs craft an agreement that will compel employers or companies to show proof of their payment of the 13th month bonus before their business permits are renewed.

Balewala ang mga advisory na iyan habang hindi sila nasasaktan. Balewala sa kanila ang 13th month pay. Batas na nga iyan, hindi pa nila maipatupad. Mag isyu kayo ng warning through media (Advisories are useless unless they are punished. The 13th month pay is nothing to them. It is a law but they cannot implement it. You must issue warnings through the media),” Tulfo said at the joint committee hearing of the Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development; Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development; and Finance.

Serrano said the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) handles issues on non-compliance with the 13th month pay law but Tulfo said DOLE is the proper agency to hear the complaints.

Ang NLRC ay pumapasok lamang kapag wala na ang empleyado sa kumpanya. Ang 13th month pay, DOLE pa ang may hawak, kaya nga (NLRC steps into the case if the employee is no longer connected with the company. DOLE has jurisdiction on 13th month pay issues that’s why) I’m directing you to tie up with LGUs,” Tulfo said.

Presidential Decree 851, or the 13th Month Pay Law, entitles workers, whether regular or contractual, to the 13th month pay.

“Rank-and-file employees regardless of the nature of their employment, and irrespective of the methods by which they are paid are entitled to 13th month pay, provided they have worked for at least one month during the calendar year,” the law states.

The 13th month pay is computed based on 1/12 of the total basic salary of an employee within a calendar year, or basic monthly salary for the whole year divided by 12 months.

Basic salary shall include all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered, but does not include allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered, or integrated, as part of the regular, or basic salary, such as the cash equivalent of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime, premium, night differential, and holiday pay, according to DOLE.

The benefit must be paid by the employer on or before December 24. (PNA)