Thursday, November 15, 2018

Bicol employers reminded to give 13th month pay on time

LEGAZPI CITY - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) RO V reminded employers to pay the 13th month pay of their workers on time and not later than December 24.

“We are reminding all private employers to release the 13th month pay of your workers on or before December 24,” said Atty. Alvin M. Villamor, DOLE RO V regional director.

According to Labor Law, the 13th month pay shall be the one-twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within the calendar year.

He said that all employers are required to pay their rank-and-file employees the 13th month pay regardless of the nature of their employment and irrespective of the methods which their wages are paid, provided they worked for at least one month in a year.

“Your workers must receive it in cash, and not in other forms such as groceries or sacks of rice. If there are instances of this kind of distribution in your company, then it’s not your 13th month pay; it’s probably Christmas bonus or other bonuses or incentives from the company,” said Villamor.

The basic salary includes all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered, but does not include cost-of-living allowances or COLA, profit-sharing payments, cash equivalents of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night differential pay, holiday pay, and all allowances and monetary benefits integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the employee.

“Employers are also required under the Labor Code to make a report of compliance with PD No. 851 to DOLE regional and provincial field offices not later than January 15, 2019,” he noted.

Villamor added that the report indicates the name of establishment; address; principal product or business; total employment; total number of workers benefited; amount granted per employee; total amount of benefits granted; and the name, position, and telephone number of persons giving information.

Labor laws and their implementing rules and regulations mandate the payment of the 13th month pay which is computed as total basic salary x number of months employed in the year ÷ 12 months = 13th month pay.

Using the minimum wage in the Bicol Region at P290.00 (from January 1, 2018 to September 20, 2018) and P305.00 (from September 21, 2018 to December 31, 2018) per day and a six-day workweek or an equivalent Monthly Basic Salary of P6,960.00 and P7,320.00, respectively, to wit:

January no absence P6,960.00
February no absence P6,960.00
March 1 day leave with pay P6,960.00
April no absence P6,960.00
May 2 days leave with pay P6,960.00
June 2 days leave with pay P6,960.00
July no absence P6,960.00
August 1 day leave with pay P6,960.00
September on maternity leave no salary
October on maternity leave no salary
November no absence P7,320.00
December 1 day leave without pay P7,320.00

Total basic salary earned for the year P70,320.00

P P70,320.00 = P5,860.00 is the proportionate 13th month pay

12  months

In addition, for those employees who have resigned or whose services are terminated at any time before the time of payment of the thirteenth-month pay is entitled to this monetary benefit in proportion to the length of time he or she has worked during the year, reckoned from the time he or she has started working during the calendar year up to the time of his or her resignation or termination from the service.

Thus, if he or she worked only from January to September, his or her proportionate thirteenth-month pay should be equal to one-twelfth (1/12) of his or her total basic salary earned during that period.

DOLE assures stable employment situation

Following the release of results of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey on joblessness, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III assured the public that the employment situation is stable and that the labor department is steadfast in its employment facilitation services and the preservation and protection of employment.

“We recognize the SWS survey result, but on the other hand, we need to see the larger picture. The Labor Force Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority says that the unemployment rate has decreased,” said Labor Secretary Bello citing the unemployment rate of 5.4 percent (2.3 million Filipinos) in the July 2018 round of the LFS.

The third quarter survey of the SWS meanwhile, showed that adult joblessness is at 22 percent (9.8 million adults).

The Labor Force Survey is the official source of employment information, the processes and criteria in the determination of which is adopted by the global economies, added Bello.

Meanwhile, Undersecretary Renato Ebarle said that factors that account for the difference in the SWS and PSA surveys include the sample population, age, reference period of the survey, and criteria used to define unemployment.

The July 2018 round of the LFS reflected the country’s steady economic growth as the proportion of working persons in the labor force, or the employment rate inched up to 94.6 percent from 94.4 percent in July 2017.

Undersecretary Ebarle said that the number of employed persons exhibited a generally increasing trend. On the average, employment grew annually by 2.1 percent for the period 2010-2017.

However, he added that these positive gains were also offset as underemployment rate marginally increased by 0.9 percentage points from 16.3 percent to 17.2 percent during the same round of the LFS.

Addressing these setbacks, Bello emphasized the need to attract more investments to the country.

“Job creation is the effect of investment. If there are more investments in the country, they generate more jobs for the people. Our aim is to secure employment, make employment more meaningful, more productive, and more beneficial to the workers, which in turn will provide productivity to our employers and business establishments,” Bello said.

He added that the government is on the right track when it comes to enabling policies such as the Ease-of-Doing Business, and the implementation of the Build Build Build program, among others.

SSS goes after contribution evaders in Cam Sur

Photo by Oscar Esmenda/Bicol Standard

NAGA CITY (Bicol Standard) – Ten business establishments in Naga City and two in Pili, Camarines Sur were inspected by Social Security System Senior Vice President Voltaire Agas and his team in connection with its Run After Contribution Evaders (RACE) program.

RACE is the agency’s campaign to raise awareness on contributions.

The SSS group said they received reports that these establishments were not complying with RA 8282 or Social Security Law of 1997, SSS Naga Branch Head Virgilio A. Santiago said.

The same team posted a copy of the Show Cause order on the store premises, which directs the employers to Show Cause, within a non-extendable period of 15 days from posting why no legal action/s shall be taken against the responsible officers for non-compliance with the law.

Failure to comply with the Order shall subject the violator to criminal prosecution, and upon conviction, a penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment without the benefit of probation.

“We are doing this primarily for the protection of the workers, and also as a reminder to the employers to comply with their legal obligations,” Santiago added.

Following the RACE program, the SSS group met with various stakeholders explaining the importance of complying with the law on SSS contributions.

BSP-Legazpi urges vigilance against fake money

LEGAZPI CITY—The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP)-Legazpi is urging the public to remain vigilant of counterfeit banknotes as it released the New Generation Currency (NGC) series coins.

“We just have to study these coins in order to get the hang of distinguishing one from another,” said Maja Gratia Malic, deputy director of BSP Currency Issue and Integrity Office.

To improve security and design, the coins have been reduced in size and weight with uniform color of silver and nickel-plating that corrodes less compared to that of the old series.

The P10 and P1 coin have ridges on the sides while the other value coins such as P5, 25 cents and 1 cent have plain sides.

In terms of banknotes, the colors and the people illustrated were retained to promote smooth transition from old to new.

Moreover, the Clean Note Policy of BSP aims to remove unfit and mutilated money from circulation. Unfit refers to those soiled, corroded, or discolored cash while mutilated includes severely disfigured, cut or shredded money.

However, mutilated banknotes can be recovered if at least 60 percent of the original surface area has been retained, and they still contain portion of any facsimile signatures, as well as the security thread remains embedded.

Cash holders must simply present their banknotes or coins to their depository banks or BSP for replacement.

Paulette Menguilla, BSP-Legazpi senior research specialist, also reminded the public through the Philippine Information Agency-5’s ‘Ugnayan sa Bicol’ radio program to use their cents instead of storing them in a jar.

She explained that cents or coins were important on the circulation of the national currency and should not be stored for a long time. (PIAV)

Gov’t workers reminded: You can’t campaign in polls

Lynbee Navio, CSC-5 information officer, says government officials and employees should refrain from endorsing or promoting their favorite candidates during an interview over PIA-5’s Ugnayan sa Bikol radio program.
LEGAZPI CITY—If you see Civil Service workers endorsing or promoting their favorite candidates during the campaign period for the 2019 national and local elections, please report to the Civil Service Commission in Bicol (CSC-5).Lynbee Navio, CSC-5 information officer, says government officials and employees should refrain from endorsing or promoting their favorite candidates during an interview over PIA-5’s Ugnayan sa Bikol radio program.

Lynbee Navio, CSC-5 information officer, said a joint circular of the CSC and Commission on Elections bans government officials and employees from endorsing or promoting candidates by posting on Facebook, wearing T-shirts or pins mentioning the name of the candidate, and engaging in other partisan activities during the election season.

“We encourage the public to be vigilant against these prohibited acts and report to us, or to any authority concerned, if there’s government employee who violated the law against political partisanship,” Navio said.

Navio said forming groups to support political candidate or party, holding political meetings or rallies, and making speeches or commentaries for or against a candidate are prohibited.

Also included in the coverage of what government workers are liable for administrative or criminal are the giving or receiving any contributions for political purposes, and utilizing government resources such as personnel and properties for the campaign.

“Directly or indirectly soliciting votes or pledges to support or defeat a candidate as well as becoming publicly identified with the success or failure of any candidate will be penalized,” she said.

The prohibition, however, exempts the President and vice President, members of the Cabinet, elective officials except for barangay (village) officials, and members of the reserve corps of the AFP.

Those who break the rules of political neutrality could be meted out suspension of one month and one day to 6 months for the first offense, and dismissal from the service for the second offense under the Revised Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service, as quoted by Navio.

However, Navio said the government is not banning its employees from liking or reposting status updates from a candidate or political party’s social media site.

“They can still like, share, comment or re-post on social media as long as they do not intend to solicit votes for or against a candidate,” she said. (PIA5)

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Bicol employers reminded to give 13th month pay on time

LEGAZPI CITY - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) RO V reminded employers to pay the 13th month pay of their workers on time a...