ECoP backs legislation focused on productivity, not 14th month pay

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THE Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECoP) said it hopes legislators will consider skills training and other productivity-focused measures instead of a proposal to grant 14th month pay to workers.

Robert F. Maronilla, a member of the organization’s board of governors, said at a hearing at the House of Representatives that while the 14th month pay bill’s explanatory note describes the extra month’s pay as a means of motivating employees, “ECoP believes that it is better for the workers to work harder first before we incentivize them.”

The House Committee on Labor and Employment was discussing House Bill 402, “An Act Requiring All Employers to Pay their Employees 14th Month Pay” and House Bill 8095, “An Act Mandating 14th Month Pay for All Employees in the Government and Private Sector Regardless of Status of Employment.”

KABAYAN Partylist Representative and author of HB 8095 Ron P. Salo said in introducing the bill that 14th month pay “aims to incentivize and motivate all employees to work harder and increase productivity.”

Cebu City 2nd District Rep. Rodrigo A. Abellanosa, introducing HB 402, said incentive schemes have been “proven” to motivate workers into being more efficient.

“Such additional structured incentives may be expected to translate to more effective personnel and efficient operations,” he said.

ECoP maintains that a more long-term solution to boost productivity is to focus on the workers’ “skills, training, and education,” Mr. Maronilla said.

According to HB 402, the 13th month pay currently mandated by law is to be released on or before the end of June with 14th month pay to be disbursed on or before December. HB 8095 proposes the release of 13th month pay by May 31 and 14th month pay by Nov. 30.

The current deadline for 13th month pay for private employees under Presidential Decree No. 85 is Dec. 24 annually.

Government employees are paid a midyear bonus in May, equivalent to an additional months’ salary. The bonus is authorized by Executive Order 201 signed in 2016 by President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III. — Gillian M. Cortez