Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Kasambahay Bill

The Department of Labor and Employment at Region 4A invited the Media from Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon to introduced the Senate Bill number 1141 or known as “Batas Kasambahay.”

Attended by the DOLE Regional office Director Atty. Ricardo S. Martinez, Sr., Bureau of Local Employment Director Criselda R. Sy and DOLE Undersecretary for Labor Relations Hans Leo Cacdac, concurrent officer-in-charge of the National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) among others.

Under the proposed legislation which is introduced by Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel, the rights and interests of household helper are enhanced and protected by ensuring just and equitable terms and conditions of their employment are embodied in their contract with their employers. This includes the following:

· the payment of at least the minimum wage, (2,500 NCR, 2000 outside NCR, 1000 3rd class municipality such as Calauan, Laguna). The current minimum wage right now nationwide is PhP 800.00 pesos.
· 13th month pay,
· Social Security System (SSS) and
· Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth) coverage,
· maternity and paternity benefits.
Under this proposed law, employers are prohibited from sub-contracting the service of the household helper to any third party or household.

Likewise provided in this bill are the enumeration of the special rights and privileges of household helpers of minority age, as well as rights and privileges of self-employed, and part-time or day-to-day household helpers.

This proposed legislation is an affirmation of the value and dignity of every person and guarantee full respect for human rights.
One that struck my attention is the minimum age of Kasambahay which is 15 years old. Though the bill would give special protection for child domestic workers and some prohibitions on hazardous work, in my opinion, 15 years old is so young and their body built is not suitable for household work.

I asked USEC Cacdac if there will be “Amo” bill that gives protection to the Kasambahay employers because in Reality, there are many abuses also happening against the employers by the kasambahay. Because trustworthy Household helpers are hard to find these days, some kasambahay are the ones who demanded to send them transportation allowance in order for them to go to the employers place but usually they only made it as the stepping stone then in few days they will leave intentionally the employers from the province and go to the city.

The bill must give full protection to both domestic helper and the employer in order to see the fair treatment of the legislator to their constituents. The bill must be for all the Filipino people welfare.

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