Fact check: Story about bill abolishing 13th month pay is from parody blog

December 10, 2018 - 5:45 PM
Senator Risa Hontiveros
Sen. Risa Hontiveros walks with former senator and human-rights lawyer Rene Saguisag at the start of Congress' joint session to deliberate on the extension of martial law in Mindanao. (Sen. Hontiveros Office/Released)

A parody story published on Adobo Chronicles saying that opposition senators have filed a bill to abolish the annual Christmas bonus of employees is going viral despite the article being a work of fiction.

There has been no official document nor media report that states a bill was filed by Senators Risa Hontiveros and Kiko Pangilinan.

The post soon got picked up by several social media users and perceived it to be true.

In the article dated December 9, the author named Pol Pinoy claimed that Pangilinan and Hontiveros co-sponsored a bill to remove the year-end bonus or 13th month pay of employees starting 2019.

All employees and workers are entitled to the holiday incentive as mandated by virtue of Presidential Decree No. 851 that was signed into law by Ferdinand Marcos on December 16, 1975.

Moreover, the names of Senators Antonio Trillanes IV, Franklin Drilon, Bam Aquino and Leila De Lima were also mentioned as endorsers of the bill.

While the article is slated to look authentic, Adobo Chronicles indicated in their About Us page that their content is a mixture of fact and fiction.

“When writing stories for this blog, we let the news sizzle and simmer in our mind in a mixture of fact and fiction, then we spice it up with figments of our imagination,” as stated on its About Us page.

They also explained their format. The italicized texts are facts while the ones in regular font styles are fiction.

The images they used are also from public domain.

“Use of images and information from public domain are in accordance with the fair use doctrine as it applies to news, parody and the Internet.  No copyright infringement is intended,” they said.

How important is the Christmas bonus?

All rank-and-file employees, including senators, are entitled to the incentive that is equivalent to one-twelfth of their basic salaries within a year.

Moreover, with the TRAIN Act or Republic Act 10963, the 13th month pay of workers that do not exceed P90,000 are exempted from tax.