Press Release
December 13, 2010

Senate approves bill increasing DH's salaries

The Senate today approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 78 which will increase the minimum wage of house helpers or "kasambahays" and will provide them with additional benefits.

Introduced by Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, Senate Bill No. 78, otherwise known as the "Act of Providing for Additional Benefits and Protection to House Helpers," requires employers to pay a minimum wage of at least P2,500 to house helpers within Metro Manila, at least P2,000 for those in chartered cities and first class municipalities, and at least P1,500 for those working in third class municipalities.

 Under the measure, Estrada said employers are mandated to shoulder the premiums for their house helpers' benefits in the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), Home Development Mutual Fund or PAGIBIG and the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC).

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, on his part, said that it was "high time that "kasambahays" are given the recognition that they duly deserve."

"All human beings, no matter their station in life, should be accorded full dignity and guaranteed full respect for human rights," Enrile said.

"Most house helpers endure abuse in the hands of their employers. This bill not only ensures the rights of our helpers, but will also protect them from being maltreated." Enrile added.

In addition, Estrada further said employers will be required to provide house helpers with adequate food, suitable living conditions, and "first aid medicines and equipment as the nature and conditions of their domestic work may require."

 According to Estrada, the measure also provides a mandatory contract between employer and employee, written in a language or dialect understood by both, and not exceeding two years.

 "Having a contract will ensure that employers will comply with standard wages and benefits," Estrada added.

 "This pro-poor bill will benefit two million domestic workers," Estrada said during the interpellation of the bill, adding "it is high time that the Labor Code, which provides for a minimum wage of P800 for domestic helpers in the National Capital Region be amended.

" "Under the bill, employers will be required to outline the house helpers' duties and responsibilities as well as their working hours and rest days," Estrada said.

 "Employers will also be required to provide their "kasambahays" with a pay slip, containing the amount paid in cash by the employer. Copies of the pay slip will be kept by the employers for at least three days," Estrada explained.

"Any employer who violates these provisions shall be punished under existing penal laws without prejudice to civil and administrative cases which may be filed against him/her," Estrada warned.

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