MANILA, Philippines - Malacañang announced yesterday that government employees would receive three bonuses this Christmas season although half of the 13th month bonus was released last May.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in a press briefing that the three bonuses are the other half of the 13th month pay, the Productivity Enhancement Incentive (PEI) and the Performance-Based Bonus (PBB).
Valte said the PEI worth P10,000 for each employee last year will come from national government coffers.
She said the funds for the PEI used to be divided between the national government and the department or agencies.
“In 2010, P7,000 of the funds came from the government per employee while the P3,000 were from the savings of the agencies. But what happened was – at least in the case of 2010 – there were agencies that did not have savings so they could not give out their components,” Valte said.
It was for this reason that the government decided to allocate funds for the PEI.
“So everyone gets equal amount now apart from the 13th month bonus,” Valte said.
Valte said with regard to the PBB, the amount that employees would get would range from P5,000 to P35,000 depending on the worker’s performance merits.
“The requisites needed are now being prepared. In August, if I’m not mistaken, the DBM (Deparment of Budget and Management) already asked to submit targets for the agencies,” Valte said.
“So the employees have targets, your division, unit, bureau, agency and the target of the department,” she said.
Valte said the first tranche of the 13th month pay had been given in May and the second one will be released this month.
The PEI will be released in December, Valte said, and “I will consult with the agencies when their target release for the PBB is.”
Meanwhile, San Juan City Rep. Joseph Ejercito Estrada urged yesterday Malacañang and private employers to release early their employees’ 13th month pay and other bonuses to allow them to take advantage of lower pre-holiday prices.
“Let’s not make it hard, especially for low-income earners to avail themselves of pre-holiday sales, when the prices of seasonal commodities are still affordable,” Estrada said.
He said December is the month when the prices of food, products, apparel and toys increase rapidly.
Estrada made the appeal following reports that prices are already going up.
He cited a report from Cid Terosa, a senior economist from the University of Asia and the Pacific, that the last quarter of the year is usually marked by a higher consumer price index, “as the public goes on an overdrive of shopping for gifts and stockpiling food for holiday feasts.”
The Labor Code mandates employers to give their employees’ 13th month pay on or before Dec. 24 while other bonuses, which are optional, can be given anytime depending on the company’s availability of funds. – With Paolo Romero