Friday, February 1, 2013

Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers

President Benigno Aquino III has signed the "Kasambahay Bill" that would benefit millions of domestic workers in the country.

"We are pleased to confirm that President Aquino signed Republic Act 10361 or 'An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers' last January 18, 2013," said Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte in a statement issued Wednesday.

Valte said RA 10361 will take effect 15 days after its publication in the print version of the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation.

Lawmakers lauded President Aquino for the signing into law of the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers Act, saying this will benefit the more than two million domestic workers in the country.

"This sends a strong message that President Aquino is focused on spreading 'inclusive growth' throughout the country," said Aurora Rep. Edgardo "Sonny" Angara, one of the proponents of the proposed "Kasambahay Bill" at the House of Representatives.

"The measure makes sure that even our domestic workers will feel the gains achieved under the current administration. Pati mga kasambahay natin, kasama sa kaunlaran," he said.

Previously, Article 143 of the Labor Code pegs the monthly wage of kasambahays in Metro Manila at P800, those in "highly urbanized areas" at P650, and in other municipalities at P550.

Under the new law, domestic helpers will now receive P2,500 monthly for those working in the National Capital Region, P2,000 per month for those working in chartered cities and first class municipalities, and P1,500 for the rest.

Aside from the pay standardization, the new law assures all domestic helpers entitlement to 13th month pay, coverage in the Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig Fund and all the benefits provided under the Philippine Social Security System (RA 8282), as amended.

If the kasambahay salary is P5,000 and above, payment of SSS and Pag-Ibig contributions will be shared by both the employer and helper, while Philhealth premiums will still be paid in full by the employer.

The law also entitles domestic workers who have rendered at least one year of service an annual service incentive leave of five days with pay.

No comments: