Press Release
December 1, 2023

Villanueva: New Law to provide more protection for Pinoy Caregivers

Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva hailed the enactment of the law putting in place policies for the protection of rights and welfare of caregivers, including Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Republic Act No. 11965 or the Caregivers' Welfare Act was signed by President Bongbong Marcos on November 28, 2023 after years of deliberation in Congress.

"As we recognize the important role of our caregivers in national development, we must ensure they are protected against abuse, harassment and economic exploitation," Villanueva, one of the co-authors of the law, said.

Before the signing of the law's final version, Villanueva pitched several amendments that were incorporated to further strengthen the measure.

One key proposal stresses that the caregiver must be "at least 18 years of age" to see to it that children are protected from all forms of abuse and exploitation. These include the prevention of child labor as well as debt bondage, like caregiving services in exchange for tuition or living arrangements.

Villanueva said this aligns as well with the current requirements of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) for prospective trainees of Caregiving Courses to at least have a high school diploma.

The Majority Leader also clarified the definition of caregiver which shall include those certified by TESDA or licensed health care professionals who listed themselves voluntarily as caregivers with DOLE's (Department of Labor and Employment) Philjobnet and Public Employment Services Office (PESO).

To ensure that caregivers are attuned to the demands of the industry, Villanueva, former TESDA Director General, also proposed adequate provisions for the upskilling and reskilling of caregivers under the new law. The law mandates TESDA, the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education to support the "development and maintenance of pathways and equivalencies that enable access to qualifications and to assist caregivers to move easily and readily between the different education and training sectors in accordance with RA 10647 or the Ladderized Education Act."

Villanueva, principal sponsor and author of the Department of Migrant Workers Act, also championed the cause of OFW caregivers by mandating the agency to issue guidelines for the recruitment and deployment of Filipino caregivers.

"This recognizes the vulnerability of OFWs, particularly caregivers. Thus, a nuanced approach is needed to ensure the safety and protection of Filipino caregivers in all stages of overseas employment, as well as their reintegration once they return home," Villanueva said.


Bagong batas magbibigay ng dagdag proteksyon sa Pinoy caregivers - Villanueva

Pinuri ni Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva ang paglagda ni Pangulong Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. sa Republic Act No. 11965 o Caregivers' Welfare Act na nagbibigay ng proteksyon sa karapatan at kapakanan ng mga caregiver, kabilang ang Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).

Nilagdaan ni Pangulong Marcos ang Caregivers' Welfare Act noong Nobyembre 28, 2023 matapos ang ilang taong deliberasyon sa Kongreso.

"As we recognize the important role of our caregivers in national development, we must ensure they are protected against abuse, harassment and economic exploitation," pahayag ni Villanueva, co-author ng batas sa Senado.

Bago nilagdaan ang pinal na bersyon ng batas, isinulong ni Villanueva ang ilang susog o amendment para pagtibayin ang panukalang batas.

Isang mahalagang panukala rito ay dapat 18 taong gulang ang caregiver at dapat tiyaking ang mga bata ay protektado sa lahat ng uri ng pang-aabuso at pagsasamantala. Kabilang dito ang paghadlang sa child labor gayundin ang debt bondage, tulad ng caregiving services kapalit ng matrikula o living arrangement.

Ayon kay Villanueva, ito ay nakahanay sa kasalukuyang requirement ng Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) para sa prospective trainees ng Caregiving Course na makatapos muna ng high school.

Nilinaw din ng Majority Leader ang kahulugan ng caregiver kung saan isasama ang mga sinertipikahan ng TESDA o licensed health professionals na boluntaryong nagpalista bilang caregivers sa Philjobnet at Public Employment Services Office (PESO) ng Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Para matiyak na ang mga caregiver ay umaayon sa demand o pangangailangan ng industriya, isinulong din ni Villanueva, dating TESDA Director General, ang probisyon para sa upskilling at reskilling ng mga caregiver sa ilalim ng bagong batas.

Sa ilalim ng batas, inaatasan ang TESDA, Department of Education at ang Commission on Higher Education na suportahan ang "development and maintenance of pathways and equivalencies that enable access to qualifications and to assist caregivers to move easily and readily between the different education and training sectors in accordance with RA 10647 or the Ladderized Education Act."

Isinulong din ni Villanueva, principal sponsor at author ng Department of Migrant Workers Act, ang kapakanan ng mga OFW caregiver sa pamamagitan ng pag-atas sa ahensya na mag-isyu ng guidelines o alituntunin para sa recruitment at employment ng mga Filipino caregiver.

"This recognizes the vulnerability of OFWs, particularly caregivers. Thus, a nuanced approach is needed to ensure the safety and protection of Filipino caregivers in all stages of overseas employment, as well as their reintegration once they return home," saad pa ni Villanueva.

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