TO PROMOTE safety, security, and financial inclusivity of workers amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Central Visayas is pushing for the use of electronic transactions in payment of wages.
DOLE-Central Visayas, in a press release on Thursday, August 13, said employers should now explore the use of transaction accounts, also known as bank or e-money accounts, as a preferred mode of the payment of wages and other monetary benefits of the workers.
Salome Siaton, DOLE regional director, said the use of transaction accounts will enable employers to timely pay wages and other wage-related benefits and afford the workers access to formal financial services. Doing so would also reduce the costs and risks of physical cash disbursements, she added.
“We have started doing this with the tri-city field office. There was one complaint which they settled online. Then, the payment of the separation pay of the worker was also done thru bank transfer. It was quick, easy and safe,” she said.
Siaton said employers may make use of the Basic Deposit Account, Electronic Money, Financial Service access points, PesoNet, and transaction accounts.
She said social dialogue is needed since employers will have to explain to their workers the benefits of using transaction accounts for receiving wages and other remunerations. There is also a need to assist workers who have no existing transaction accounts in applying for transaction accounts.
She said workers with existing transaction accounts should be given the option to receive their wages and other monetary benefits in their existing transaction accounts.
Employers should also assist their workers who do not have the facility yet, in opening their transaction accounts in the banks or E-Money Issuers (EMIs) where the employers maintain an account.
Employers could require their partner banks or EMIs to provide their employees with information on the features of their transaction accounts and updated list of nearest financial service access points.
Financial service access points refer to physical touch points where clients can transact their bank or e-money account such as making deposits, withdrawals, bills payment and fund transfer.
Siaton said while there is now a need to go for digital payment of wages, employers must also see to it also that doing so would not result to any additional fees or expenses or diminution of wages and other monetary benefits being received by employees.
“Baka naman, nang dahil sa pag-open at pag-maintain ng kanilang transaction account, magkaroon ng unnecessary deductions ‘yong mga workers. This is definitely not allowed,” she said.
Employers will also still have to issue pay slips or records of the payment of wages and other monetary benefits as well as the deductions for a particular period.
Employers may get in touch with the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas for the provision of reference materials and for the conduct of financial literacy seminars.
Secretary Silvestre Bello III issued Labor Advisory 26, Series of 2020 that advances for the payment of wages and other monetary benefits through transaction accounts. (WBS)