San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito Estrada said the newly-enacted Domestic Workers’ Act or “Batas Kasambahay” was welcomed by many sectors because it protects the rights of 2 million household helpers and shields them from abuse.
Ejercito Estrada made the statement amid ongoing debates that center solely on the provision of monetary incentives to household helpers. The San Juan solon is vice chairman of the House labor and employment committee and is one of the principal authors of the Kasambahay Act.
“The primary goal of the law is to ensure that our household helpers will no longer be taken advantage of by abusive employers,” the young lawmaker said.
The San Juan solon cited the case of 21-year old Bonita Baran whose one eye is now blind because of the repeated beatings of her cruel employers. Baran was also forced to sleep in the bathroom and eat cockroaches and scraps.
Baran’s harrowing ordeal was revealed when she testified before the Senate Committee on Labor in September 2012.
“The law wants to prevent incidents such as the one involving Baran from happening again. Just like any other ordinary employee or worker, household helpers also have rights which should be protected,” said Ejercito Estrada.
He noted that Article II, Section 5 of Republic Act 10361 or “An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers” stipulates that “the employer or any member of the household shall not subject a domestic worker or ‘kasambahay’ to any kind of abuse nor inflict any form of physical violence or harassment or any act tending to degrade the dignity of a domestic worker.”
The law also calls upon the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to ensure the protection of domestic workers hired through private employment agencies.
February 7, 2013