The House Committee on Labor and Employment has started discussions on House Bill No. 3815, a proposal to make it mandatory for private sector employees to receive 14th month pay bonuses every year following the rising threat of inflation, says a report on ABS-CBN News.

"Ang bigas nagmamahal, ang gasolina, siyempre ang mga pamasahe... Their take home pay can no longer take them home," says Cebu City South District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanos.

This could be great news for many families, especially since once enacted into law, there will only be a six-month gap between two bonuses. The 13th month pay will be paid not later than the 14th of June and the 14th month pay shall be paid not later than the 24th of December every year for rank and file employees in the private sector.

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In the proposal submitted by Hon. Emmanuel Billones, he wrote about laborers that "they should at least receive extra earnings in the middle of the year to help defray the expenses incurred in school like enrolment fees, miscellaneous fees, books, bags, uniforms, among others. The rest of the amount if there is anything left is for future health and medical expenses for the family."

According to a briefing, President Duterte is now discussing the feasibility of the bill with his economic team.

It was Senator Tito Sotto III who filed this bill in the senate, which has been pending since July 2016. Many labor groups are in full support of the proposal, but arguments against it include that it could affect unemployment and could even force businesses to close down, as many companies won't be able to afford the extra expense. 

However, in a Manila Bulletin feature, Sen. Sotto assures that “with the 14th month pay, there would also be exemptions, so our businessmen have nothing to be anxious about."

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For companies who cannot comply, “Hindi sila oobligahin. But they have to file a petition with the BIR."

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