Five of the country’s largest employer and business organizations—Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), Philippine Retailers Association (PRA), and Philippine Franchise Association (PFA)—urged their member companies, especially those which can afford to do so, to advance the release of the workers’ 13th-month pay and such other benefits to help the affected workers during the on-going work stoppage. The call was made following the government’s declaration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the whole of Luzon island from March 17 to April 12 to stem the spread of COVID-19.
ECOP President Sergio Ortiz-Luis Jr. said that many companies, especially large ones have heeded the call of business organizations to assist their workers. “Some of the measures taken by employers in addition to the early release of 13th-month pay include allocation of other monetary incentives, leave cash conversion payout, loan assistance as well as deferment of payment of existing loans, activation of hazard insurance for all customer-facing employees, and utilization of leave credits, even those allotted for 2021 in cases when leave credits for 2020 have already been exhausted,” Ortiz-Luis said.
ECOP continues to gather the practices of companies to assist their workers to guide others which may want to follow suit or explore the various options available. These practices, in addition to regular advisories and announcements on developments related to COVID-19 affecting employers and workers, are published in ECOP’s website and social media accounts.