By Wilnard Bacelonia

Senator Imee Marcos (PNA file photo)

MANILA – Senator Imee Marcos on Friday urged private companies to make sure that former rank-and-file workers, who either resigned or fired, still receive their 13th-month pay.

“Kahit isang buwan ka lang nagtrabaho ngayong taon, dapat meron kang kahit isanlibong piso na matatanggap sa dati mong pinapasukan (Even if you worked for only a month this year, you should be able to receive at least PHP1,000 from your previous employer),” Marcos said in a statement, basing her computation on the minimum wage for an eight-hour working day in Metro Manila.

She also emphasized that private school teachers are specially entitled to a full 13th-month’s pay if they have served for at least a month within a year.

Thirteenth-month benefits became law just before Christmas of 1975 through Presidential Decree 851, to “protect the level of real wages from the ravage of worldwide inflation.”

The decree’s revised guidelines in August 1986 clarified the annual bonus for existing as well as former employees.

Marcos likewise pointed out that 13th-month benefits should be distributed by December 24, the deadline prescribed by law.

Kumakatok lang sa matitigas ang puso. Ngayong nagtataasan ang presyo ng pagkain, marami pa ring gipit ang badyet para sa Noche Buena (Just knocking on the hard-hearted. With food prices rising, many are still short of funds for the traditional Christmas Eve celebration),” she said. (PNA)