All rank and file employees are entitled to a mandatory 13th-month pay which is required by Presidential Decree No. 851 signed by the late President Ferdinand Marcos. Under the law, the 13th-month pay should be released no later than December 24 of each year.
PhilStar reported that DOLE Secretary Silvestre Bello III said, “Reminder lang po sa ating mga employers, [huwag] ninyong kalimutan. Maliwanag ang batas. You have to give your employees, on or before Christmas day, their 13th-month pay. Kaya pati yung mga kasambahay entitled ‘yon ha. Tax-free yan.”
Secretary Bello added, “An employer, however, may give to his employees one-half of the 13th-month pay before the opening of the regular school year and the other half on or before December 24 of each year.”
Those who are eligible to receive their 13th-month pay are rank-and-file employees in any type of employment who have worked at least a month during a year. According to the DOLE, the 13th-month pay should not be 1/12th of an employee’s total basic salary earned within a calendar year.
Meanwhile, other employers give out a Christmas or company bonus. According to a report from the Philippine News Agency, bonuses are optional and voluntary in nature and it is up to the management whether they will give it out or not.
DOLE Central Visayas Regional Director Salome Siaton clarified that a Christmas bonus is usually credited to the management’s generosity or its intention to motivate workers.
She said, “The same could be actually given out to workers throughout the year, but it is typically handed to the workers every December, thus the name.”
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