Labor dep't eyes subsidizing micro, small businesses' 13th month pay

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 18 2020 10:13 AM | Updated as of Oct 18 2020 10:45 AM

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MANILA - The labor department is considering to provide a subsidy for the 13th month pay of micro and small enterprises workers, its chief said Sunday.

The agency earlier ordered all companies to give workers their 13th month pay as law mandates.

"'Yung mga di makabayad--this is just a proposal, it is not a commitment--kasi sabi ko, yung mga micro and small, eh baka di makayanan, I will propose a subsidy for them. Pero this depends on kung saan ang fund source, at kung meron talagang source," Labor Secretary Silvestro Bello III told ABS-CBN's TeleRadyo.

(Those who cannot pay--this is just a proposal, not a commitment--I said maybe, micro and small businesses can't provide, I will propose a subsidy for them. But this depends on where funds can be sourced, or if there's really a source.)

"May option din, in case walang makitang pondo, baka pwedeng ma-provide sila ng loan facilities, at least, sa mga government banking institution."

(There's also an option in case we can't source funds, maybe they can be provided loan facilities from government banks and institution.)

Bello said that based on the notices received by the agency from employers, 3.5 million workers have been displaced, so far, by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of those, a little over 200,000 permanently lost their jobs, while some 1.9 million were temporarily terminated from work by their employers and may be re-hired when business returns to normal. The remaining 1.2 million only had their working hours reduced.

The Philippine economy went into recession after the country's GDP hit -16.5 percent in the second quarter, which, according to National Statistician Claire Dennis Mapa, is the lowest reported quarterly growth starting in the 1981 series.

"The decline was “partly because of the lockdown. You’re seeing drop in the sectors. We’re seeing that because of the April, May lockdown. That’s the data we’re receiving,” Mapa said in August.

The country's first quarter GDP also contracted to -0.7 percent.