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A bill has been filed at the Senate proposing mandatory 14th-month pay for all employees in the country.
Under Senate Bill 1645, filed last week by Senator Vicente Sotto III, rank-and-file employees shall be entitled to an additional midyear pay annually.
The measure proposes that the 14th-month pay be not less than half of an employee's total basic salary.
In his proposed law, Sotto said the additional 14th-month pay is needed because wages in the country "have invisibly decreased due to the rise in prices of basic commodities."
"We need extra earnings in the middle of the year to help in school and medical expenses. Health and education needs of the ordinary Filipino must be assisted by our government," the senator said.
He added that the current mandatory 13th-month pay is already "gobbled up by Christmas expenses."
Sotto's bill, however, did not specify any penalty for employers who do not grant the 14th-month pay. Instead, it instructs the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to draft implementing rules for the legislation.
The measure still needs to undergo committee and plenary deliberations and voting before it can be approved by the Senate. — Andreo Calonzo/RSJ, GMA News