Press Release
November 23, 2012

Legarda on Bicam approval of Kasambahay Bill: The time has finally come

Senator Loren Legarda today hailed the Congressional Bicameral Conference Committee's recent approval of the Kasambahay Bill.

"The time has finally come for the Kasambahay Bill. In 1998, during my first term as a Senator, I already filed a bill that seeks to protect the interest of our kasambahays. Now that we have come this close to having the measure approved, I am hopeful that there will no longer be any reason for the delay of its enactment into law," said Legarda, co-sponsor of the measure.

"I am truly glad that we have taken such major steps in according decent working conditions, just compensation, and sufficient benefits to our domestic workers," she added.

During the third and final meeting of the bicameral committee, which was convened by Senate Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada, who is the principal sponsor of the measure, the conferees agreed that the new minimum wage for domestic workers will be P2,500 within the National Capital Region, P2,000 for those within chartered cities and first class municipalities, and P1,500 for those in other municipalities.

In a related move, Legarda, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, spearheaded last August the Senate's concurrence in the ratification of ILO Convention 189, known as the Convention Concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers. The Philippines was the second country to ratify the Convention.

"As ILO 189 will come into force 12 months after two ILO member-states have ratified it, the Philippines should be justly proud of playing a significant role in improving the employment conditions of domestic workers worldwide. And now, with the Kasambahay Bill nearing a historic triumph, we can begin guaranteeing that kasambahays in the Philippines are treated as workers, not servants," she added.

"These recent developments herald the dawn of better lives for the 1.9 million domestic workers in the country, and even the 1.5 million more abroad. Both the ILO 189 and the Kasambahay Bill provide rights that are the foundation of inclusive growth that we as a nation aspire for. We are only a few steps away from acknowledging the contributions of our household heroes into the global workforce; no longer as invisible hands but as workers equipped with the rights and benefits accorded others," Legarda concluded.

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