SAN JUAN City Representative JV Ejercito Estrada expressed gratitude to President Benigno Aquino III amid reports that PNoy has already signed into law the Domestic Workers’ Act, widely known as Kasambahay Act.
“I’m very thankful to President Aquino for his concern over the plight of household helps who have long been at the mercy of their respective employers,” Ejercito Estrada said.
“This is the best gift we can give at the start of the new year for these hard-working men and women who tend to our homes and take care of our children.”
The Kasambahay Act ensures the rights and welfare of the estimated 2 million household helps all over the country and also pegs their minimum salaries.
Under the new law, the minimum salary of a domestic helper is pegged at P2,500 in Metro Manila, P2,000 in chartered cities and first-class municipalities, and P1,500 in the rest of the country.
The law orders the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board to determine succeeding salary increases following consultations with stakeholders.
Apart from monetary compensation, which includes a 13th-month pay, the law also mandates employers to enroll their househelpers in Social Security System, Philhealth, and Pag-ibig Fund and to pay part of their monthly contribution.
Also, domestic helpers should be afforded at least eight hours of rest every day and a day off a week.
“Most household helps have very little education,” Ejercito Estrada said. “That is why I’m glad that my proposal to require employers to allow their household helps to complete their basic education has become part of the new law.”
A similar bill was first filed 15 years ago. The current bill went through countless modifications before it was finally approved in the 15th Congress in the first week of December.
The San Juan lawmaker, as vice chairman of the Committee on Labor, is among those who shepherded the bill through the House of Representatives.
January 23, 2013