Guide to Calculating 13th Month Pay in the Philippines

The holiday season brings joy, family gatherings, and often, a strain on finances. In the Philippines, employees receive a welcome financial boost during this time: the 13th month of pay. This mandatory benefit helps Filipinos celebrate the holidays and provides much-needed security. Let’s delve into what 13th month pay is, how it’s calculated, and its significance in the Philippines.

What is the 13th Month’s Pay?

The 13th-month pay is a bonus or salary equivalent mandated by law for employees in the Philippines. Introduced in 1976 under Presidential Decree No. 851, this benefit aims to improve the welfare of workers and their families during the holiday season. It’s essentially an extra month’s salary received on top of regular wages.

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Unlike some countries where a bonus might be a discretionary reward based on performance, the 13th month of pay in the Philippines is compulsory. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) ensures that all qualified employees in the private sector receive this benefit.

Who Qualifies for 13th Month Pay?

The good news is that eligibility for 13th-month pay is broad. As per the Department Advisory No. 25 issued in 2023, any employee who has worked for at least one month within a calendar year qualifies. This includes:

  • Rank-and-file employees
  • Project or probationary employees
  • Workers on maternity leave
  • Employees who resigned or were terminated

The key factor is working for at least a month during the year. The amount received will be pro-rated based on the number of months worked. There’s no minimum salary requirement for eligibility, with even employees earning the minimum wage entitled to the benefit.

Calculating Your 13th Month Pay

The calculation for the 13th month’s pay is straightforward. Here’s the formula:

13th Month Pay = Total Basic Salary Earned During the Year / 12 Months

This means you simply add up all your basic salary earned throughout the year and then divide that sum by 12. It’s important to note that only your basic salary is considered. Allowances, overtime pay, bonuses, and other fringe benefits are not included in the calculation.

For example, if you earn a monthly basic salary of PHP 20,000 and have worked for the entire year (12 months), your 13th month pay would be:

13th Month Pay = PHP 20,000/month x 12 months / 12 months = PHP 20,000

Therefore, you would receive an additional PHP 20,000 as your 13th month’s pay.

However, if you started working mid-year, say in July, the calculation would be slightly different. You would first need to find your total basic salary earned for the months you’ve worked. Then, divide that amount by 12 to get your pro-rated 13th-month pay.

Guide to Calculating 13th Month Pay in the Philippines


  • Monthly basic salary: PHP 20,000
  • Started working: July (6 months worked)

Total Basic Salary Earned: PHP 20,000/month x 6 months = PHP 120,000

13th Month Pay: PHP 120,000 / 12 months = PHP 10,000

In this scenario, you would receive a pro-rated 13th month pay of PHP 10,000.

Is 13th Month Pay Taxable?

The 13th month’s pay is generally subject to income tax in the Philippines. However, there’s an exemption for employees whose total basic salary for the year does not exceed PHP 90,000. If your combined basic salary falls within this bracket, your 13th-month pay will not be taxed.

For those earning above PHP 90,000 annually, the tax will be applied to the excess amount of the 13th month’s pay, not the entire sum. The Philippine government uses a graduated tax system, so the tax rate will depend on your total taxable income for the year.

Significance of 13th Month Pay in the Philippines

The 13th-month pay plays a crucial role in the Philippine economy and society. Here’s how it benefits various stakeholders:

  • Employees: It provides a significant financial boost during the holiday season, helping families cover increased expenses for travel, gifts, and celebrations.
  • Businesses: By improving employee morale and financial security, 13th-month pay can contribute to a more stable and productive workforce.
  • Economy: The circulation of additional income through 13th-month pay stimulates the Philippine economy. Consumers have more money to spend, boosting retail sales and other sectors.

14th Month Pay: A Future Possibility?

While the 13th-month pay is a well-established benefit, there have been discussions about introducing a 14th-month pay. This additional benefit would further enhance the financial security of Filipino workers. However, it’s currently not a mandatory requirement.

The decision to offer a 14th-month pay lies with individual employers. Some companies might provide it as a voluntary incentive, particularly for highly skilled or long-term employees. The calculation for a 14th month’s pay would likely follow the same formula as the 13th month’s pay, with the total basic salary divided by 14 instead of 12.

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The Philippine government is currently considering legislation that would make the 14th month pay mandatory. If passed, this would significantly improve the financial well-being of Filipino workers.

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