By Hannah Torregoza
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Thursday vowed to fast-track approval of the measure mandating employers in the private sector to give 14th month pay to their employees.
Sotto said he has high hopes that the Senate would be able to pass the measure, Senate Bill No. 2, the “14th Month Pay Law,” on third reading by September.
“I will follow it up with the Senate Committee on Labor,” Sotto said, referring to the Senate Panel on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development which is chaired by Sen. Joel Villanueva.
Sotto said those in the business sector need not be concerned over the measure as it will follow the provisions granted under the 13th month pay scheme which is a Presidential Decree.
“They (companies) think that we are changing the former presidential decree. The 13th month pay is a presidential decree and that also grants exemptions,” Sotto said.
“With the 14th month pay, there would also be exemptions, so our businessmen have nothing to be anxious about,” he said.
According to Sotto, the measure will allow companies who cannot comply with a 14th month pay to seek certification with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR).
“Hindi sila oobligahin (They won’t be obliged). But they have to file a petition with the BIR,” he stressed.
Sotto further believes that the measure is doable, as there are multinational companies that are capable of granting a 14th month pay.