Estrada prepares to sponsor two million household workers from Batas Kasambahay

By Jason de Asis


SENATE OFFICE, Manila, November 9, 2010- Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada, concurrent chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and the joint Congressional Oversight Committee on Labor and Employment (COCLE) said that he prepares to sponsor an estimate of two (2) million household workers to benefit from the proposed “Batas Kasambahay”.


The population of household workers in the country ranges from 600,000 to 2.5 million. Moreover, Visayan Forum, non-government organization working for the protection and justice of trafficked women and children specifically domestic workers, estimates that one million are children according to the study conducted by the Philippine Commission on Women.


He urged his colleagues in the House of Representatives to start deliberations on Kasambahay Bill’s counterpart versions.


It could be recalled that in 2007, the Senate already passed the Kasambahay Bill during the thirteenth Congress where Estrada states that the longer we delay this, the longer we are depriving them of decent working condition, benefits and labor rights.


Under a written contract the Kasambahay Bill (Senate Bill No. 78 reported under Committee Report No. 7) prescribes decent employment terms, adding that the minimum wage rates for the house helpers working in the National Capital Region is updated to P3,000 a month from the P800 prescribed by the Labor Code. Those who work in first class municipalities, the minimum wage will be set to P2,500 and in other municipalities P2,000 a month.


Aside from the 13th month pay, kasambahay will also be entitled to membership and benefits in PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG and Employees Compensation Commission (ECC).


It also mandates the local government units to conduct a registration of employers and household helpers for monitoring and regulation purposes, and to develop and implement gender-responsive programs in support of this legislation.


“The Kasambahay Bill has been languishing in the legislative mill since 1996 when Sen. Francisco Tatad filed a Senate Bill for household helpers during the 10th Congress, as a response to the recommendations of the First National Consultation on Child Domestic Workers in the Philippines,” Estrada said, adding that it is high time to enact the overdue Batas Kasambahay in order for the household helpers to have decent lives. (Jason de Asis)