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Labor leader authored 13th-month pay, Marcos decreed it, Cory amended it

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As the arguments between Marcos loyalists and anti-Marcos groups heat up, both parties continue to trade barbs. Now, one of the latest exchange between the groups has been focused on the 13th month pay that was touted by Marcos supporters as something that the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos signed into law.

Facebook page “Library of Most Controversial Files” even dared anti-Marcos Filipinos not to accept their 13th month pay to avoid insulting their dignity.

“Please don’t accept the 13th month pay. That will be an insult to your dignity and to what you are fighting for. Just give the money to charities and the poor,” the page said in its Facebook post.

As of writing, the said post has been shared almost 1,400 times and have earned over 3,000 reactions.

Labor Leader Authored 13th Month Pay

Marcos did sign Presidential Decree No. 851 or the 13th month pay rule on December 16, 1975.

However, it had a limitation – only employees earning less than P1,000 per month were to receive a 13th month pay.

“Section 1. All employers are hereby required to pay to all their employees receiving a basic salary of not more than P1,000 a month, regardless of the nature of their employment, a 13th-month pay not later than December 24 of every year.”

The decree also included the reasons why Marcos issued it, including the following:

“WHEREAS, it is necessary to further protect the level of real wages from the ravage of worldwide inflation;

WHEREAS, there has been no increase in the legal minimum wage rates since 1970;

WHEREAS, the Christmas season is an opportune time for society to show its concern for the plight of the working masses so they may properly celebrate Christmas and New Year.”

However, during our research, another name cropped up. Facebook user Bernie Manimbo brought up the late Bacolod lawyer and labor leader Zoilo dela Cruz as the person who “authored” the 13th month pay bill.

Labor Leader Authored 13th Month Pay

When we Googled dela Cruz and 13th month pay, a Philippine Star article published on December 1, 2014 about his death came up, wherein he was dubbed as the “father of 13th month pay.”

“He (dela Cruz) conceptualized the 13th month pay, the Social Amelioration Program in the sugar industry and payment of cost of living allowance (COLA) to workers in the private sector. He organized the Sugar Industry Foundation Inc. and was one of the founders of TUCP,” the Philippine Star article read.

And a short read on presidential decrees showed that they were an innovation during Marcos’ time when he proclaimed Martial Law and he was the only one who got to issue PDs. The Official Gazette noted this about the PDs: “They served to arrogate unto the Chief Executive the lawmaking powers of Congress.” Under the Freedom Constitution of 1986, the late President Cory Aquino recognized the validity of some PDs “unless otherwise repealed.”

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When she assumed office, Cory modified PD No. 851 by issuing Memorandum Order No. 28 on August 13, 1986.

It stated, “Section 1 of Presidential Decree No. 851 is hereby modified to the extent that all employees are hereby required to pay all their rank-and-file employees a 13th month pay not later than December 24 of every year.”

This meant that all employees, regardless of whether they are earning less or more than P1,000, were entitled to receive a 13th-month pay from their employers.

Even former President Benigno Aquino III signed into law Republic Act No. 10653, which provided for an increase in the tax exemption ceiling on bonuses and 13th month pay, from P30,000 to P82,000, on February 12, 2015.

Then House Ways and Means committee chair Marikina City Rep. Romero Quimbo said that PNoy’s move will benefit the middle class, especially the wage and salary earners.

So to those who gloated over the fact that it was Marcos who decreed the 13th month pay, credits should also be given to Zoilo dela Cruz for conceptualizing it, to the late Cory Aquino for amending it to include all rank-and-file employees after removing the P1,000 ceiling, and to PNoy for raising the tax-exemption ceiling.

Moreover, anti-Marcos netizens hit back against Marcos supporters regarding the 13th month pay issue. One such reaction would be this post from Facebook page “Hot Manila.”

“All hail Ferdinand Marcos! He gave us 13th month pay! And murdered 3,200 Filipinos. And tortured tens of thousands. And stole US$ 10 billion. And destroyed the republic’s institutions. Now that’s what you call a good deal,” the page wrote.

 

And here are other reactions from those who condemned the human rights violations during Martial Law:

 

 

Sources: (gov.ph, chanrobles.com, philstar.com, gmanetwork.com)

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Netizens slam Duterte for saying women ‘could not stand threats and intimidation’

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President Rodrigo Duterte drew flak for another controversial comment involving women after he remarked on May 24 that women “could not stand threats and intimidation.”

Duterte said that while he believed in women’s competence, it does not necessarily ring true in all aspects of life.

“I believe in the woman, the competence and capability, pero hindi lahat sa buhay dapat.Hindi ka, hindi, hindi. Dapat lang. It’s not appropriate when you cannot stand threats and intimidation,” he said in his May 24 speech.

He also said that women should be “prim and proper” and talked about his reservation in sending women police and soldiers to the field because unlike men, they did not grow up with a mindset that involves violence.

“Ang mga babae, sundalo pati pulis, ayaw ko ‘yan sa bukid. Unlike men kami, maliit pa lang, suntukan, bakbakan, barilan. And we grew up with a sort of a mindset na sometimes prone to violence. Itong mga babae, prim and proper man ‘yan, isang tingin lang sa nanay niyan, wala na tunaw na ‘yan. Tapos gawin mong pulis, ipaaway mo doon. Naku,” Duterte remarked.

Netizens then took to social media to react to Duterte’s most recent statements, making #BabaeAko trend again on Twitter.

“Mr. President, you just horrifyingly disrespected your own mother who bravely fought against the Marcos dictatorship. She withstood threats and intimidation. Siya ay babae! #BabaeAko,” a Twitter user remarked.

Forensic expert Dr. Raquel Fortun spoke out, too, saying “I am threatened and intimidated a lot. All my life. Don’t me. #BabaeAko.”

So did film and theater actress Chai Fonacier, who said, “Encouraging women — and I mean including those who identify as women — and our friends from the entire spectrum to share your #BabaeAko statements to fight the misogyny that the President and his ilk normalize through their behavior. Make them remember the feminine strength.”

KABATAAN Partylist Rep. Sarah Elago also reacted, saying she refused to be stereotyped.

Former Solicitor General Florin Hilbay urged other Filipinos to protest against Duterte’s misogynistic statements.

Other Twitter users weighed in on the issue.

Duterte’s previous misogynistic remarks

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His remarks in his speech on May 24 seemed to have sought to explain another controversial remark he made on May 16 when he said that he did not want a politician, especially a woman, to become the next Ombudsman.

“Mag-nominate sila, pero I choose, but gusto ko ‘yung bilib ang tao sa integrity niya. Of course it could not be a politician, lalo na hindi babae,” he said during a chance interview.

This gave birth to the launching of the #BabaeAko movement on social media on May 21 by women activists and other people who also want to protest Duterte’s misogynistic and sexist statements.

One of  the women who joined the #BabaeAko campaign was former Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo who said, “Akala ko taumbayan ang boss ni Duterte. Yun pala sina Marcos, Gloria, Trump at China. Para sa bayang makatarungan at malaya, lalaban ako.”

In February, he was also slammed for telling his audience of former NPA rebels that he told his soldiers to shoot female rebels in the vagina.

Sources: ( rappler.comphilstar.com )

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New DOT chief to ask Montano why he rushed official New York engagement to watch Broadway show

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Newly installed Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said she plans on talking with Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) COO Cesar Montano to ask for his side on certain accusations that were hurled against him.

Among these accusations came from an Abante report where Montano was said to have rushed a speaking engagement staged by the DOT in New York to watch the Broadway musical show “Hamilton.”

DOT reportedly launched the Philippine Tourism Presentation and Dinner Reception on May 9 to showcase Philippine tourism and fashion at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. Montano was introduced as the event’s keynote speaker, but he was said to have only spoken for a bit before hurriedly leaving the venue, disappointing the guests, which also included US officials.

Montano was said to have been invited to the event in behalf of the now-resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo. He was also named as one of the two hosts, the other being Teo, of the said event.

In reaction to this report about Montano, Puyat said she would talk to Montano as well as the Tourism attache and other DOT officials who attended the event to verify the accusation in the report mentioned above.

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Puyat said that she would investigate into the “Buhay Carinderia” program that the TPB is set to implement. This was after Philippine Star Boo Chanco accused Montano of issuing P80-million worth of three checks to the event proponent and organizer.

“I still don’t have the papers. I will be asking [and] will be arranging a meeting with Mr. Cesar Montano to ask about ‘yung mga nabasa ko sa ‘Buhay Carinderia’ – kung totoo ba na walang bidding ‘yung P80 million na advance,” Puyat said on May 15.

“I’m planning to talk to him and ask his side. I want to ask all those who were there if it actually happened,” Puyat added.

In March 2017, TPB employees filed a complaint against Montano for his alleged corruption and mismanagement of the agency. These include hiring friends and relatives, using TPB’s funds for personal trips, and showing incompetence in fulfilling his obligations as the agency’s COO.

Sources: ( tnt.abante.com.phphilstar.comrappler.com )

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Eldest Tulfo vows to help Wanda clear her name, berates ‘black sheep’ Ben over controversial P60-M DOT ad deal

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Inquirer columnist Ramon Tulfo spoke up about the controversy involving his siblings, now resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Tulfo-Teo and hosts Ben and Erwin Tulfo, over the P60 million tourism ad deal.

The eldest Tulfo wrote in his Inquirer column on May 10 that while President Rodrigo Duterte himself advised the Tulfo family to avoid talking to the media, he took it upon himself as the family’s acting patriarch to tell the story behind the controversy.

First up, Ramon blamed Teo for not hiring smart staff members who could have advised her against inking a deal with PTV 4, where one of the Tulfo brothers, Ben, was a blocktimer.

As a blocktimer, Ben pays for his TV show’s airtime on the state-run channel.

According to Ramon, Wanda was only complying with President Duterte’s injunction for his Cabinet secretaries to support PTV 4, adding that she did not know Ben’s company would get most of the multimillion advertising contract with DOT.

He also hit Ben, whom he called a “black sheep” with a “middle child” syndrome as the fifth child out of 10 siblings, for signing the P60-million advertising contract with PTV 4 despite knowing that there would be a conflict of interest on Wanda’s part.

Ramon also said that Wanda still tried to save Ben, who insisted on his innocence amid the controversy, leading her to resign from her post. He also explained that Wanda seemed to have forgotten the fact that her husband was on the board of director of the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (Tieza), a part of DOT, when Duterte appointed her as tourism chief. He added that it should have been up to her husband to step down from his post upon his wife’s appointment.

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In the same column, he also slammed Wanda’s lawyer, Ferdinand Topacio, whom he said did not even consult the Tulfo brothers on returning the P60-million funds from the ad deal. He also described the lawyer as “all talk,” a counsel who’s only focused on gaining publicity for himself.

Unlike what has been previously reported about Wanda resigning out of delicadeza amid the controversy, Ramon let it slip that he commended President Duterte for “sacking Wanda,” prompting some people to ask whether Wanda was fired instead of resigned.

Before he ended his column, he vowed to support “Wanda’s fight to clear her name, but not Ben’s.”
Wanda resigned on May 8 to show delicadeza and to spare everyone, especially Duterte, from the pain caused by the controversy, according to her lawyer.

The issue started with the Commission on Audit’s report showing the DOT paying P60 million worth of commercials to PTV 4, which in turn, tapped Ben’s Bitag Media Unlimited Inc. to air the tourism ads during Ben and Erwin’s show “Kilos Pronto.”

Malacañang said that Teo’s resignation does not mean that she is off the hook since the Ombudsman is still looking into her and other government officials involved in the controversial ad deal.

Sources: ( inquirer.netnews.abs-cbn.com , nnphilippines.com )

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