Monday, January 20, 2014
MANILA-One year upon the enactment of the Batas Kasambahay, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada is calling for a nationwide policy evaluation to know how effective the law has been in terms of addressing the concerns and providing relief to domestic workers.
“How many domestic workers are now registered with the Social Security System, Philhealth, and Pag-IBIG and are enjoying these social security benefits? How many barangays are now maintaining a Registry of Domestic Workers in their jurisdiction? What is the compliance rate among employers regarding the new minimum wage rates for their kasambahay?” Jinggoy asked as he referred to several directives provided by the law.
Batas Kasambahay, formally known as Republic Act 10361 or the Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers, was signed into law last January 18, 2013.
“I cannot deny the fact that we should amend and insert new provisions to the existing law to further ensure that its objectives of better working conditions and humane treatment for domestic workers are fully realized,” said Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development and principal author and sponsor of the measure.
Jinggoy relayed the message to the participants of the first Kasambahay Summit held in Bacoor, Cavite last Saturday which coincided with the first anniversary of the enactment of RA 10361.
Sen. Estrada also welcomed inputs and feedback from concerned stakeholders regarding the implementation of the “Batas Kasambahay” in view of strengthening the law that provides benefits and privileges and establishes standards for the employment of domestic workers.
“I hope that you will share the results and recommendations emerging from this summit, to enlighten the policymakers as to what specific stipulation needs to be improved, deleted and revised,” Sen. Estrada said.
Recently, a bill was proposed in the Senate which will provide 20% discount for medicines and medical and dental services for the domestic workers and their families. Another bill was filed which seeks to grant tax incentives up to 20,000 pesos for employers for expenses incurred for education and training of household helpers.
Sen. Estrada urged other local government units to hold their own Kasambahay Summit to monitor the execution and effectiveness of the law.
In his video message shown during the event, Sen. Estrada recounted the rough road he has to tread and how he endured criticisms and negative commentary as he persistently pushed for the passage of this landmark measure for years.
“Sanay na po ako sa mga batikos, insulto at mga walang basehang akusasyon. Pero hindi po ako nawalan ng lakas ng loob dahil alam kong nasa likod ko ang humigit-kumulang na dalawang milyong mga kasambahay at mga employer na may malasakit sa mga kasambahay. Masigasig kong isinulong na maipasa ang batas na ito sa Kongreso dahil alam kong ito ay positibong magbibigay proteksyon para sa mga kasambahay,” Jinggoy recalled.
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