Press Release
November 20, 2012


Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada shares today that conferees to the bicameral conference committee agreed to fix the monthly minimum wages of domestic workers at 2,500 pesos.

The second and final round of discussions on the disagreeing provisions of the Kasambahay Bills (Senate Bill 78 and House Bill 6144) conducted Monday evening which lasted until past midnight resolved to include a provision prescribing minimum wages for kasambahay, as introduced by Sen. Estrada.

Sen. Estrada, concurrent Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment, states that the panel agreed to set the base pay for domestic work thereby increasing those stipulated in the Labor Code.

Currently, the minimum wage for domestic workers as stated in Article 143 of the Labor Code is pegged at P800 in Metro Manila and highly urbanized cities, P650 in other chartered cities and first-class municipalities, and P550 for other municipalities.

The panel moved to adopt a Senate provision on minimum wage for domestic workers which prescribes P2,500 monthly salary for those working in the National Capital Region, P2,000 for those in chartered cities and first-class municipalities, and P1,500 for those in other municipalities.

Sen. Estrada cites that the last time the minimum wage for household helpers was augmented was 19 years ago through Republic Act 7655 as approved last 1993.

"The amounts stated in our Labor Code are very much outdated and unrealistic, considering the high cost of living especially in the metropolis. I think it is high time to increase the minimum wage which can be considered decent compensation," Sen. Estrada says.

Sen. Estrada, together with the members of the bicameral conference committee, believes that the amount is still affordable and reasonable as the panel considered the total income of a middle-class household and its employed members.

"We are also not preventing well-off employers from paying much higher wages to their household helpers. We just want to give kasambahay what is due them," Jinggoy pointed out.

After one year from the effectivity of the act and every year thereafter, the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards shall review and if proper, adjust the minimum wage rates of household domestic workers.

Apart from increased wages, household workers will also be entitled to membership in Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth, and PAG-IBIG. The employers will shoulder the payment of contribution for social benefits of minimum wage earners.

"It was also agreed upon that Congress shall determine a wage rate wherein both the employees and employers will share in the responsibility of paying contribution to such benefits," Sen. Estrada clarifies.

The bicameral conference committee is set to release a final and reconciled version of the proposed "Batas Kasambahay" this week and have the same ratified by both chambers by Monday.

The enactment of a special law for the domestic workers is a priority measure of President Aquino and is one of the legislative proposals discussed before the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC).

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