The Employers Confederation of the Philippines pushed for the granting of loans with zero or minimal interest rates to micro, small and medium enterprises to help them extend 13th month pay to their employees.
ECOP president Sergio Ortiz-Luis said more than 400,000 MSMEs might not meet the mandatory 13th month pay this year as 2 million MSMEs were still struggling to recover from the pandemic.
“We don’t know how much the interest will be or if there will any interest at all. We’re working that out with Secretary [Silvestre] Bello. But if the government is willing and able to extend that loan, then there’s no need for instalment or should I say no need to give mandatory bonus in tranches,” he said Monday.
He said MSMEs comprise 90 percent of the businesses in the Philippines and half of them have either temporarily or permanently closed their businesses. Some establishments were thinking of giving their workers’ 13th month payment on instalment basis.
ECOP said that with the further easing of mobility and restrictions under Alert System 3, it would translate into reopening of more business sectors.