Opposition Senator Chiz Escudero is appealing to Malacañang for an early release of the 13th month pay of all government employees and pensioners to help those affected by typhoon Ondoy.
He said, “The practical thing to do at the moment is for the employee to receive an early Christmas gift from the government. Even if Luzon was the hardest-struck areas, government civil servants and the military from different parts of the country will be able to provide financial assistance and improve the horrid conditions being experienced by their relatives in the different provinces and cities.”
When I heard this news last night, the first thing that came to mind was “Filipinos will not celebrate Christmas this year.”
Last June, I already asked my employer to release half of my 13th month pay to help with our family’s expenses. Summer months in the U.S. (May to August) are lean months for us here work-wise, so we’re earning only half of what we usually receive in one semester. That made me sad because that means I won’t have as much to spend for gifts and whatnots this Christmas.
I realized now that I’m luckier than most because I still have half of my 13th month pay intact and our family wasn’t ravaged by the flood caused by typhoon Ondoy. I hope and pray that our kababayans will recover from this tragedy soon.