By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.

QUEZON CITY — Senator Imee Marcos on Friday (Dec. 22) reminded private companies that former rank-and-file workers who resigned or whom they fired are still entitled to benefit from the 13th-Month Pay Law.

“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 1,000 pesos from your previous employer),” Sen. Marcos said.

The senator based her computation on the minimum wage for eight-hour workdays in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Marcos also stressed 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, which meant to “protect the level of real wages from the ravage of worldwide inflation.”

Presidential Decree 851’’s revised guidelines in August 1986 clarified the annual bonus for existing as well as former employees.

“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 hard hearts, as food prices continue to rise. Many are still short of funds for the traditional Christmas Eve celebration),” Marcos said.

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