Civil servants to receive 13th month bonus

GOVERNMENT personnel will soon receive their mid-year bonus equal to a month’s basic pay, said Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Michael Defensor on Wednesday.

“Our sense is, it is precisely because of this forthcoming availability of the mid-year incentive for public sector workers that Malacañang addressed its call for the early release of the statutory 13th month pay only to the private sector,” said Defensor, the chairman of the House Committee on Public Accounts.

President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday urged private establishments to consider advancing the 13th month pay of their employees, if not entirely, at least partially, to help them cope with the difficulties associated with the government-imposed containment measures against the spread of the new coronavirus disease, or COVID-19.

Budget Secretary Wendel Avisado on Tuesday said he has not received any directive from Malacañang to advance the 13th month pay of civil servants.

“Congress institutionalized and guaranteed the grant of a mid-year bonus to government workers when it passed Republic Act 11466, or the new Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2019,” Defensor pointed out.

“What the Department of Budget and Management should do now is see to it that the mid-year benefit of state employees is promptly released on May 15, which is actually less than 60 days away,” Defensor said.

Under the SSL, Defensor said the mid-year gratuity of government staff is “to be given not earlier than May 15 of every year.”

Defensor said the mid-year perk due civil servants is on top of their year-end bonus – equal to a month’s basic salary plus cash gift of P5,000 – set to be given in November of every year.

“Nonetheless, we will support Malacañang, should it later decide to advance a portion or all of the 13th month pay of government personnel, on top of their scheduled mid-year incentive,” Defensor said.

“Actually, depending on their available funds, there are public offices that already advanced by June at least 50 percent of the year-end bonus of their employees,” said Defensor.