Senate bill mandates 13th-month pay for govt JOs and COS workers

SEN. Mark  Villar, moving to ensure fair benefits to  all government workers, filed Senate Bill No. 1528 to be known as 13th Month Pay Law for Contractual and Job Order Personnel.

The senator reminded contractual workers and job order personnel play a vital role in government service, stressing “they fulfill their duties diligently and passionately comparable to permanent government employees. Notwithstanding, they are not entitled to mid-year and year-end bonuses, such as the 13th-month pay, among other benefits,” he said.

In his explanatory note to Senate Bill 1528, Villar note that job order (JO) and contract of service (COS) government employees “do not receive benefits such as mid year and yearend bonus received by regular or permanent government employees.”

The lawmaker recalled “during my tenure as DPWH [Department of Public Works and Highways] Secretary, I have seen the government employees’ need for this benefit. Now as a senator, I have proposed a bill that gives a mandatory 13th-month pay to our national and local government workers.”

Villar expect the remedial legislation, once passed into law, will “mandate the payment of 13th-month pay to all government employees regardless of their employment status. Whether contractual or job order personnel shall be entitled to 13th-month pay every year.”

“In light of the persistent rise in the inflation rate, which led to an extraordinary increase in prices of food, fuel, and other commodities, Filipino workers, including contractual and job order personnel of the government face greater hardships in their lives. Contractual and job order personnel lack security of tenure,” he added.

The senator noted that in Senate Bill No. 1528, the minimum amount  available for COS and JO personnel shall not be less than one-half of the monthly salary by the employees based on their current contract with the government.

“Passing such a proposal should be a priority while there is still time left. This is our way of recognizing their notable contribution and their service to the government. This is our appreciation for their hard work and sacrifice and for ensuring that the government is able to provide programs to our people throughout the year,” Villar pointed out.

“This is in line with the recent issuance of the Commission on Audit [COA] and the Department of Budget and Management [DBM] extending the services of COS and JO workers until December 31, 2024,” he said.

Villar said he expect  642,000 non-permanent government workers will benefit once the proposed bill is passed into law by the upper and lower chambers of Congress.


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