Unreasonable delay in release of salaries to be punished

BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance prohibiting the unreasonable delay in the release of salaries in the city.

The ordinance authored by Councilor Joel Alangsab stated that the measure shall apply to all employees, payroll officers and employers, whether natural or juridical, within the territorial jurisdiction of the local government.

Under the proposed ordinance, it shall be unlawful for any payroll officer or employer within the jurisdiction of the local government to unduly delay payment of wages or salaries for a period longer than 7 days from due date as provided by law, Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), employment contract or agreement and it shall also be unlawful for any employee to unduly delay the submission of required documents by the payroll officer resulting in the delay of processing and release of the salaries or wages of all concerned employees in their companies.

The ordinance stipulated that any payroll officer who fails to immediately disburse the wages or salaries of employees when funds are made available for the said purpose shall be penalized by a fine of P1,000, a fine of P2,000 for the second offense and a fine of P3,000 or imprisonment of not exceeding 3 months or both for the third and succeeding offenses.

On the other hand, any employer who fails to pay wages and salaries of his or her employees without any justifiable reasons shall be penalized by a fine of P1,000 for the first offense, a fine of P2,000 for the second offense and a fine of P3,000 or imprisonment of not exceeding 3 months or both and revocation or cancellation of business permit for the third and succeeding offenses.

Further, any employee who fails to submit the necessary documents required by the payroll officer resulting in the processing and release of the salaries and wages of all concerned employees shall be penalized with a fine of P500, a fine of P1,000 for the second offense and a fine of P3,000 for the third and succeeding offenses.

The ordinance mandated the creation of a board to conduct a summary proceeding within 7 days from filing of the complaint wherein it shall evaluate the grounds for failure to pay wages or salaries of employees within the prescribed grace period

The board shall be chaired by the City Mayor and co-chaired by the Chairperson of the City Council Committee on Ethics, Governmental Affairs and Personnel with membership comprising of the Chairperson of the Committee on Employment, Livelihood and Cooperatives and Person with Disabilities, a representative from the Department of Labor and Employment, a representative from the Civil Service Commission, City Legal Officer, head of the Public Employment Service Office, City Human Resource Management Officer and City Treasurer or their duly authorized representatives.

The board is mandated to issue a resolution within 5 days from the conduct of proceedings and no case shall be filed in court without the stated resolution to be rendered after due hearing involving all concerned parties.

The Constitution provided that the State shall promote a just and dynamic social order that will ensure the prosperity and independence of the nation and free the people from poverty through policies that adequately provide sufficient social services, promote full employment, a rising standard of living and an improved quality of life for all. By Dexter A. See

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