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13 Things You Should Know About 13th Month Pay

#1. What is “13th month pay”?

It is a mandatory benefit provided to employees pursuant to Presidential Decree No. 851 (PD No. 851) which requires employers to grant 13th month pay to all its rank and file employees. PD No. 851 further provides that 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.

#2. Bonus is different from 13th month pay

Bonus is an amount granted to an employee in excess of what the law requires as a reward or incentive for achieving a goal and/or contributing to the success of the employer’s business. Unlike 13th month pay, a bonus is given out of the employer’s generosity and is not a demandable and enforceable obligation, unless when it has been made part of the wage or made the subject of an express agreement.

#3. When should the 13th month pay be paid?

It should be paid not later than December 24 of each year. An employer, however, may give to his employees one-half of the 13th month pay before the opening of the regular school year and the other half on or before the 24th day of December of every year.

#4. Who are covered or entitled to the 13th month pay?

All rank-and-file employees who have worked for at least one (1) month during the calendar year, are entitled to receive 13th month pay regardless of the nature of their employment and irrespective of the methods by which their wages are paid. 

#5. Who are rank-and-file employees?

All employees not considered managerial employees are considered rank-and-file employees.  A managerial employee is one who is vested with powers or prerogatives to lay down and execute management policies and/or to hire, transfer, suspend, lay-off, recall, discharge, assign or discipline employees, or to effectively recommend such managerial actions.

#6. Are there employers who are exempted from paying 13th month?

Yes.  The following employers are exempted from paying 13th month pay under PD 851:

 a)  The government and any of its political subdivisions, including government-owned and controlled corporations, except those corporations operating essentially as private subsidiaries of the Government;

 b)   Employers who are already paying their employees 13th month pay or more in a calendar year or its equivalent at the time of the issuance of PD 851;

 c)   Employers of persons in the personal service of another in relation to such workers; and

 d)   Employers of those who are paid on purely commission, boundary, or task basis, and those who are paid a fixed amount for performing specific work, irrespective of the time consumed in the performance thereof, except those workers who are paid on piece-rate basis, in which case the employer shall grant such workers the required 13th month pay.

#7. How is 13th month pay computed?

The minimum 13th month pay required by law shall not be less than one-twelfth of the total basic salary earned by an employee within a calendar year. 

#8. What does “basic salary” comprise of?

The “basic salary” of an employee for the purpose of computing the 13th month pay shall include all remunerations or earning paid by this employer for services rendered but does not include allowances and monetary benefits which are not considered or integrated as part of the regular or basic salary, such as the cash equivalent of unused vacation and sick leave credits, overtime, premium, night differential and holiday pay, and cost-of-living allowances. However, these salary-related benefits should be included as part of the basic salary in the computation of the 13th month pay if by individual or collective agreement, company practice or policy, the same are treated as part of the basic salary of the employees.

#9.  13th Month Pay for Certain Types of Employees

(a)  Employees Paid by Results. — Employees who are paid on piece work basis are by law entitled to the 13th month pay. Employees who are paid a fixed or guaranteed wage plus commission are also entitled to the mandated 13th month pay, based on their total earnings during the calendar year, i.e., on both their fixed or guaranteed wage and commission.

(b)  Those with Multiple Employers. — Government employees working part time in a private enterprise, including private educational institutions, as well as employees working in two or more private firms, whether on full or part time basis, are entitled to the required 13th month pay from all their private employers regardless of their total earnings from each or all their employers.

(c)  Private School Teachers. — Private school teachers, including faculty members of universities and colleges, are entitled to the required 13th month pay, regardless of the number of months they teach or are paid within a year, if they have rendered service for at least one (1) month within a year.

#10. Are resigned or separated/terminated employees entitled to 13th month pay? 

Yes.  An employee who has resigned or whose services were terminated at any time before the time for payment of 13th month is still entitled to the benefit.  

#11. How much is the 13th month pay of a resigned or separated/ terminated employee?

The 13th month pay of a resigned or separated/terminated employee is in proportion to the length of time he or she has worked during the year, reckoned (a) from the time she has starting working during the calendar year or (b) the time the last 13th month pay was given, up to the time of his/her resignation or separation/termination from the service. Thus, if he/she worked only from January to September, his/her 13th month pay shall be equal to 1/12 of his total basic salary earned during that period

#12. Are maternity leave benefits included in the computation of 13th month pay?

 No. Maternity leave benefits are not included in the computation of 13th month pay.

 To illustrate, assuming that a female employee is receiving a monthly salary of P10,000.00 and was on maternity leave from June 1 to July 31, 2020:

  P8,333.33 is the proportionate 13th month pay of a female employee who was on maternity leave from June 1 to July 31, 2020.

#13. Is 13th month pay taxable?

In the Philippines, employees are entitled to an exemption from income tax in relation to benefits/allowances up to the total value of Ninety Thousand Pesos (₱90,000.00) each year. This means that if the total value of the 13th Month Pay benefit combined with any other allowances or benefits received by an employee during the year, does not exceed ₱90,000, such benefits/allowances will be exempt from income tax. 

However, the value of any such benefits or allowances over and above the ₱90,000 will be subject to income tax for the relevant year and should be deducted at source by the employer (i.e. the excess will be subject to income tax).  

Sources:

https://bwc.dole.gov.ph/faqs-on-13th-month-pay
https://lawphil.net/statutes/presdecs/pd1975/pd_851_1975.html
https://www.chanrobles.com/revised13thmonthpayguidelines.htm#.X6a_KS8RrjE

Categories
Jurisprudence

Audiobook Rules of Court 117 Motion to Quash, Criminal Procedure, Remedial Law Review

RULES OF COURT CRIMINAL PROCEDURE

RULE 117 Motion to Quash

Section 1. Time to move to quash.

At any time before entering his plea, the accused may move to quash the complaint or information.

Section 2. Form and contents.

The motion to quash shall be in writing, signed by the accused or his counsel and shall distinctly specify its factual and legal grounds. The court shall consider no ground other than those stated in the motion, except lack of jurisdiction over the offense charged.

Section 3. Grounds.

The accused may move to quash the complaint or information on any of the following grounds:

(a) That the facts charged do not constitute an offense;

(b) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the offense charged;

(c) That the court trying the case has no jurisdiction over the person of the accused;

(d) That the officer who filed the information had no authority to do so;

(e) That it does not conform substantially to the prescribed form;

(f) That more than one offense is charged except when a single punishment for various offenses is prescribed by law;

(g) That the criminal action or liability has been extinguished;
(h) That it contains averments which, if true, would constitute a legal excuse or justification; and

(i) That the accused has been previously convicted or acquitted of the offense charged, or the case against him was dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent.

Section 4. Amendment of the complaint or information.

If the motion to quash is based on an alleged defect of the complaint or information which can be cured by amendment, the court shall order that an amendment be made.

If it is based on the ground that the facts charged do not constitute an offense, the prosecution shall be given by the court an opportunity to correct the defect by amendment.

The motion shall be granted if the prosecution fails to make the amendment, or the complaint or information still suffers from the same defect despite the amendment.

Section 5. Effect of sustaining the motion to quash.

If the motion to quash is sustained, the court may order that another complaint or information be filed except as provided in section 6 of this rule.

If the order is made, the accused, if in custody, shall not be discharged unless admitted to bail.

If no order is made or if having been made, no new information is filed within the time specified in the order or within such further time as the court may allow for good cause, the accused, if in custody, shall be discharged unless he is also in custody for another charge. (5a)

Section 6. Order sustaining the motion to quash not a bar to another prosecution; exception.

An order sustaining the motion to quash is not a bar to another prosecution for the same offense unless the motion was based on the grounds specified in section 3 (g) and (i) of this Rule.

Section 7. Former conviction or acquittal; double jeopardy.

When an accused has been convicted or acquitted, or the case against him dismissed or otherwise terminated without his express consent by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon a valid complaint or information or other formal charge sufficient in form and substance to sustain a conviction and after the accused had pleaded to the charge…

… the conviction or acquittal of the accused or the dismissal of the case shall be a bar to another prosecution for the offense charged, or for any attempt to commit the same or frustration thereof, or for any offense which necessarily includes or is necessarily included in the offense charged in the former complaint or information.

However, the conviction of the accused shall not be a bar to another prosecution for an offense which necessarily includes the offense charged in the former complaint or information under any of the following instances:

(a) the graver offense developed due to supervening facts arising from the same act or omission constituting the former charge;

(b) the facts constituting the graver charge became known or were discovered only after a plea was entered in the former complaint or information; or

(c) the plea of guilty to the lesser offense was made without the consent of the prosecutor and of the offended party except as provided in section 1 (f) of Rule 116.

In any of the foregoing cases, where the accused satisfies or serves in whole or in part the judgment, he shall be credited with the same in the event of conviction for the graver offense.

Section 8. Provisional dismissal.

A case shall not be provisionally dismissed except with the express consent of the accused and with notice to the offended party.

The provisional dismissal of offenses punishable by imprisonment not exceeding six (6) years or a fine of any amount, or both, shall become permanent one (1) year after issuance of the order without the case having been revived.

With respect to offenses punishable by imprisonment of more than six (6) years, their provisional dismissal shall become permanent two (2) years after issuance of the order without the case having been revived.

Section 9. Failure to move to quash or to allege any ground therefor.

The failure of the accused to assert any ground of a motion to quash before he pleads to the complaint or information, either because he did not file a motion to quash or failed to allege the same in said motion, shall be deemed a waiver of any objections based on the grounds provided for in paragraphs (a), (b), (g), and (i) of section 3 of this Rule.

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Insanity as Exempting Circumstances

Accuse-appellant must thus prove that he was completely deprived of reason when he killed his father in order to be exempt for parricide.

There is nothing either in the report of Dr. Gerona or his testimony which indubitably show that accused-appellant was completely without reason when he killed his father because the latter wanted him to leave the house.

The defense of insanity is in the nature of confession and avoidance and, like the justifying circumstance of self- defense, the burden is on the defense to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was insane immediately before the commission of the crime or at the very moment of its execution.

Although schizophrenia is not exempting if it does not completely deprive the offender of the consciousness of his acts, it may nevertheless be considered mitigating under Art 13 (9) if it diminishes the exercise of his will power. (PEOPLE vs. BANEZ, G.R. No. 125849, January 20, 1999)

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Obedience to Order of a Superior Officer

The subordinate who, in following an order of the superior, failed to observe all auditing procedures of disbursement, cannot escape responsibility for such omission; but where he acted in good faith, his liability should only be administrative or civil in nature, not criminal. (TABUENA vs. SANDIGANBAYAN. G.R. Nos. 103501-03. February 17,1997)

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Self-Defense

Self-defense is man’s inborn right. In a physical assault, retaliation becomes unlawful after the attack has ceased, because there would be no further harm to repel.

But that is not the case when it is aimed at a person’s good name.

Once the aspersion is cast its sting clings and the one thus defamed may avail himself of all the necessary means to shake it off.

He may hit back with another libel which, if adequate, will be justified. (PEOPLE vs. HIONG. No. 10413-R. October 20, 1954)

If there is no unlawful aggression, there is nothing to prevent or to repel and the second requisite of self-defense would have no basis.

Even if we allow appellant’s contention that Tuquero was the initial unlawful aggressor, we still cannot sustain his plea of self-defense.

After appellant successfully wrested the knife from Tuquero, the unlawful aggression had ceased.

After the unlawful aggression has ceased, the one making the defense has no more right to kill or even wound the former aggressor.

The presence of large number of wounds on the part of the victim, their nature and location disprove self-defense and instead indicate a determined effort to kill the victim. (PEOPLE vs. SO, G.R. No.104664. August 28, 1995)

Plainly, the accused-appellant could no longer retreat from the continuing assault by the victim who, as inexorably shown by his relentless advance towards the accused-appellant, was poised to kill the latter.
The danger to the accused-appellant’s life was clearly imminent.

It would not then be proper nor reasonable to claim that he should have fled or selected a less deadly weapon, because in the emergency in which, without any reason whatever, he was placed, there was nothing more natural than to use the weapon he had to defend himself.

In the natural order of the things, following the instinct of self-preservation, he was compelled to resort to a proper defense.

It is settled that reasonable necessity of the means employed does not imply material commensurability between the means of attack and defense.

What the law requires is rational equivalence, in the consideration of which will enter the principal factors the emergency, the imminent danger to which the person attacked is exposed, and the instinct more than the reason, that moves or impels the defense, and the proportionateness thereof does not depend upon the harm done, but rests upon the imminent danger of such injury. (PEOPLE vs. GUTUAL. G.R. No. 115233. February 22,1996).

The actuation of deceased Fleischer in angrily ordering the continuance of the fencing would have resulted in the further chiseling of the walls of appellant’s house as well as the closure of the access to and from his house and his rice mill—which were not only imminent but were actually in progress.

There is no question, therefore, that there was aggression on the part of the victims: Fleischer was ordering, and Rubia was actually participating in the fencing.

This was indeed an aggression, not on the person of appellant, but on his property rights.

The reasonableness of the resistance is also a requirement of the justifying circumstance of self-defense or defense of one’s rights under paragraph 1 of Article 11, Revised Penal Code. When the appellant fired his shotgun from his window, killing his two victims, his resistance was disproportionate to the attack.

Appellant who was sleeping when the victims chiselled his house and fenced off his estate and who asked them to stop doing so is not guilty of sufficient provocation when he shot the victims who ignored his plea. (PEOPLE vs. NARVAEZ. Nos. L-33466-67. April 20,1983.)

Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude and the accused must present proof of positively strong act of aggression.

Even if we give credence to accused-appellant’s version of the events, specifically that the deceased hurled invectives at him and moved as if to draw something from his waist, the Court are unable to establish a finding of unlawful aggression on the victim’s part.

Unlawful aggression presupposes an actual, sudden, unexpected attack or imminent danger thereof, not merely a threatening or intimidating attitude and the accused must present proof of positively strong act of real aggression. (PEOPLE vs. ARIZALA, G.R. No. 130708. October 22, 1999)

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Frustrated Felony

When the offender performs all the acts of execution which would produce the felony as a consequence but which, nevertheless, do not produce it by reason of causes independent of the will of the perpetrator.

Where the offender treacherously inflicted a wound upon the victim which was sufficient to have caused death, but the victim survives by reason of prompt medical attention, the offender is liable for frustrated murder.

(PEOPLE vs. MISION. G.R. No. 63480. February 26,1991)

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Conspiracy

When accused-appellant Pugay poured gasoline on the victim’s body and thereafter his co- accused Samson set the victim on fire, there is nothing in the records showing that there was previous conspiracy or unity of criminal purpose and intention between the two accused-appellants immediately before the commission of the crime.

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Dangerous Drugs Act

To sustain a conviction for selling prohibited drugs, the sale must be clearly and unmistakably established. To sell means to give, whether for money or any other material consideration. It must, therefore, be established beyond reasonable doubt that appellant actually sold and delivered two tea bags of marijuana dried leaves to Sgt. Lopez, who acted as the poseur- buyer, in exchange for twenty-peso bills.

(PEOPLE vs. SIMON. G.R. No.93028. July 29,1994.)

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Praeter Intentionem

When the Resulting Harm is Greater than Means Employed by the Offender

“Praeter intentionem” is defined as having an injurious result that is greater than that intended. The Revised Penal Code describes it as no intention to commit so grave a wrong.

In People vs. Ural, praeter intentionem is a mitigating circumstance “that the offender had no intention to commit so grave a wrong as that committed” (Par. 3, Art. 13, Revised Penal Code). It is manifested from the proven facts that appellant Ural had no intent to kill Napola.

His design being only to maltreat him, may be because in his drunken condition he was making a nuisance of himself inside the detention cell. Such that when he realized the fearful consequences of his felonious act, he allowed the victim to secure medical treatment at the municipal dispensary

People vs. Ural, G.R. No. L-30801 March 27, 1974

Categories
Jurisprudence Criminal Law

Aberratio Ictus

Can A Wrongful Act Done Differently From That Which is Intended Incur Criminal Liability?

In “aberratio ictus” or mistake in the blow, a person directed the blow at an intended victim, but because of poor aim, that blow landed on somebody else. The intended victim as well as the actual victim are both at the scene of the crime.

In the People vs. Flora case, when Hermogenes Flora first fired his gun at Ireneo, but missed, and hit Emerita Roma and Flor Espinas instead, he became liable for Emerita’s death and Flor’s injuries. Hermogenes cannot escape culpability on the basis of aberratio ictus principle. Criminal liability is incurred by any person committing a felony, although the wrongful act be different from that which he intended.

Note, however, that when a person intended the commission of several felonies with a single act, it is not called aberratio ictus or mistake of blow, simply because there was no mistake in the commission of crime.

People vs. Flora, G.R. No. 125909, June 23, 2000