Press Release
July 25, 2012


Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada lends unequivocal support to the ratification of ILO Convention 189 or the Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention.

In his co-sponsorship speech delivered Wednesday, Sen. Estrada cites that household workers are said to be among the most vulnerable and least visible workforce, and prone to abuse and exploitation.

"Historically they have been exempted from laws governing rights afforded to other workers like decent wages, a safe and healthy workplace, workers compensation and others labor protections," laments Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development.

ILO Convention 189 was adopted by the General Conference of the International Labor Organization last June 16, 2011 in Geneva, Switzerland.

ILO Convention establishes new international labor standards with the goal of facilitating the transition of domestic workers from the informal to the formal economy. It likewise provides a comprehensive set of legal, social and economic protection such as compulsory education and opportunities for further education; effective elimination of all forms of abuse, harassment and violence; fair terms of employment; institution of occupational safety and health standards; among others.

President Aquino ratified the convention last May 18, 2012.

Sen. Estrada maintains that the concurrence of the Senate to the ratification of the convention would benefit not only an estimated 1.9 million kasambahay in the Philippines, but would also advance the welfare of thousands of overseas Filipino workers employed as domestic workers.

"If we are able to give our concurrence and then deposit the instrument of ratification at the soonest possible time, the Philippines may have the distinction of becoming the second country to be a party to Convention 189 which would trigger its enforcement. The move will undoubtedly send a strong signal to the international community on the high priority that our country places on the protection and promotion of the rights of domestic workers, including migrant domestic workers," Jinggoy states.

Article 21 of the Convention states that it shall come into force twelve months after the date on which the ratifications of two members have been registered with the Director General.

Sen. Estrada, principal author and sponsor of the proposed Batas Kasambahay, further declares that the Senate has always been a dependable ally of the domestic workers' sector, as the Upper Chamber has unanimously approved the bill during previous congresses.

Batas Kasambahay, once passed by both houses of Congress, is poised to become the enabling law of the said ILO Convention.

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