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Employers in the Philippines seek P500 million loan for 13th month pay


The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) is taking part in the crafting of mechanics for a lending facility of P200 million to P500 million to assist businesses affected by the pandemic.

This facility is expected to provide the mandatory 13th month pay to employees.

ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Department of Finance agreed in principle to the allocation of P200 million to P500 million for the new facility that will provide interest-free loans to cover the 13th month pay.

Micro and small businesses wanting to avail themselves of the loan program would need to secure certification from DOLE that while they are operating, they are not capable of providing 13th-month pay due to the impact of the pandemic.

Ortiz-Luis said the process to secure DOLE certification would be done within one day.

The loans should be payable within one to two years, he said.

Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez earlier said the DTI’s financing arm Small Business Corp. is setting up a lending facility to help pandemic-hit businesses provide 13th-month pay.

Ortiz-Luis said it is important to provide assistance to micro and small companies facing cash flow problems during the pandemic.

He said micro-enterprises account for about 90 percent of the total number of establishments and 65 percent of employment in the country, while the small ones account for around 8.5 percent.

Half of these businesses, he said, had to close their operations, while the other half, although open, still face difficulty in paying their employees.

He said the majority of micro and small companies unable to provide the 13th month pay of their workers are in the National Capital Region.

“When talking about 13th-month pay, that is a bigger problem (for them),” he said.


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