Claim: The 13th-month pay law of Ferdinand Marcos Sr. was universal
Facts: There are several claims about the 13th-month pay law, however, most of them need more context.
Firstly, granting 13th-month pay was not proposed by Marcos Sr. on a worldwide scale. The only countries in Asia that legally mandate thirteenth-month pay are the Philippines, India, Indonesia, and Saudi Arabia.
Next, the granting of an additional month’s salary was already a practice before Presidential Decree (PD) No. 851 in 1975. That is why it is stated in Section 2 “Employers already paying their employees a 13th-month pay or its equivalent are not covered by this decree”.
Furthermore, PD 851 only covered selected employees. Its initial laws did not include the likes of government employees, household helpers, and workers paid on commission. Needless, these comprise most of the employees even then.
The law also allowed employers to opt out of providing said benefit to their employees. To fulfill her 1896 Labor Day pledge, President Corazon Aquino expanded the legislation with Memorandum Order No. 28, which then requires companies to pay “all their rank and file employees a 13th month pay not later than December 24 of every year”
Why we fact-checked this: Issuing of PD 851 was timed during the Christmas season so that the Marcos family would make it seem as though he were handing out “gifts” to workers. Although it did help with the worker’s needs and everyday expenses, it was a clear propaganda tool used to further their “Bagong Lipunan” legacy.