MALACAÑANG will discuss with the Department of Finance (DOF) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) the possibility of subsidizing the 13th month pay of employees from the small, micro and medium enterprises (SMEs) that continue to struggle due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque made the statement following the pronouncement of Labor and Employment Secretary Silvestre Bello III last Friday that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will need at least P13.7 billion to subsidize the 13th month pay of SME workers.
Roque, in an interview with radio DzBB, said he will first determine the stand of the DOF and DBM on the matter.
He said President Duterte had been inquiring, during the Cabinet meeting last week, as to when workers can receive their 13th month pay.
He said the government understood that due to the lockdown and the condition of the economy, small and micro businesses find it hard to provide the 13th month pay of their employees.
Bello said last week that the provision of 13th month pay is mandated by law. But exemptions are given to distressed companies.
He said there were proposals to implement a deferred payment of 13th month pay.