Press Release
January 16, 2013

Legarda: Enactment of Kasambahay Bill needed now more than ever

In light of an International Labour Organization report detailing the long work hours and low wages of domestic workers in Asia, Senator Loren Legarda today said that the enactment of the Kasambahay Bill is needed now more than ever.

"According to the ILO Report entitled Domestic Workers Across the World, a domestic worker in the Philippines works 52 hours a week in 2010, the 7th longest work hours among the 39 countries with available data. The report also found that our workers are paid less than half of the national average of incomes of the country's total paid workers. This is an alarming situation that has been conveniently ignored over the years, but we hope not any minute longer," she said.

Among the Senator's first bills filed in the Fifteenth Congress was Senate Bill 7, which sought to increase the minimum wage of household helpers and require all household working arrangements to be duly documented between employers and helpers.

"The Kasambahay Bill was approved by both Houses back in November 2012. We only need the President's signature in order to make minimum wage and other rights and privileges a reality for the 1.9 million domestic workers in the country, most of whom are women," she stressed. "The Kasambahay Bill, and hopefully soon, the Kasambahay Law, is a major step in according decent working conditions, fair compensation, and sufficient benefits to our domestic workers."

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.

"Oppression of household workers happens all over the world. We should take the lead and prove that reversing this situation can be done," Legarda remarked. "It is imperative that we treat our kasambahay as workers, not servants," she concluded.

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