Press Release
November 9, 2010

Two million household workers to benefit from Batas Kasambahay

An estimated two million household workers stand to benefit from the proposed Batas Kasambahay, Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said today as he prepares to sponsor the measure this week.

Based on a study by the Philippine Commission on Women, the population of household workers in the country ranges from 600,000 to 2.5 million. Moreover, Visayan Forum, non-government organization working for the protection and justice of trafficked women and children specifically domestic workers, estimates that one million are children.

Sen. Estrada, concurrent chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment (COCLE), urged his colleagues in the House of Representatives to start deliberations on Kasambahay Bill's counterpart versions.

It can be recalled that Senate already passed the Kasambahay Bill during the Thirteenth Congress on 2007.

"The longer we delay this, the longer we are depriving them of decent working condition, benefits and labor rights," Sen. Estrada states.

The Kasambahay Bill (Senate Bill No. 78 reported under Committee Report No. 7) prescribes decent employment terms under a written contract.

Minimum wage rates for the househelpers working in the National Capital Region is updated to P3,000 a month from the P800 prescribed by the Labor Code. For those working in first class municipalities, minimum wage will be set at P2,500, and for those in other municipalities P2,000 a month.

Aside from a 13th month pay, kasambahay will also be entitled to membership and benefits in PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG and Employees Compensation Commission (ECC).

Further, the bill also mandates the local government units to conduct a registration of employers and household helpers for monitoring and regulation purposes, and to develop and implement gender-responsive programs in support of this legislation.

"The Kasambahay Bill has been languishing in the legislative mill since 1996 when Sen. Francisco Tatad filed a Senate Bill for household helpers during the 10th Congress, as a response to the recommendations of the First National Consultation on Child Domestic Workers in the Philippines," Sen. Estrada said, adding:

"It is high time to enact the long overdue Batas Kasambahay in order for the household helpers to have a decent living."

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