DOLE helps construction workers claim their unpaid 13th month pay

Construction workers from Tacloban City finally received their unpaid 13th month pay from contractor through the assistance of Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 8.

The respondent, Southern Pine Construction, a contractor engaged by Robinsons Corporation to undertake the construction of Summit Hotel, agreed to settle and pay the amount of P 766,436.67 to 76 workers who filed a request for assistance under the DOLE’s Single Entry Approach (SENA) for non-payment of 13th month pay.

DOLE Regional Director Elias A. Cayanong commended the efforts made by the desk officers who handled the case, Mr. Norman Uyvico and Mr. Virgilio Doroja, Jr. for their exceptional conciliation skills that brought the parties to a settlement, which is both beneficial to the workers and the management.

“We also appreciate the gesture of the Southern Pine Construction management who positively responded to the call of the workers for a speedy and inexpensive settlement procedure,” Cayanong said.

The DOLE RO 8 has received 33 complaints for non-payment of 13th month pay for 2016, and the DOLE’s labor laws compliance officers subjected all the establishments complained of, for assessment visits.

Moreover, DOLE has also reminded employers to pay 13 month pay on time as it is a labor standard provision on the Labor Code.

The 13th month pay is defined to mean one-twelfth (1/12) of the basic salary of an employee within a calendar year. The basic salary includes all remunerations or earnings paid by an employer to an employee for services rendered, but may not include cost-of-living allowances (COLA), profit-sharing payments, cash equivalents of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime pay, premium pay, night shift differential pay, holiday pay, and all allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered, or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary of the employee.

Employers failing to pay the 13th month benefit are liable to money claim cases that aggrieved employees may file with any DOLE regional offices.