50,000 domestic helpers in PH minors — DoLE

Published by rudy Date posted on December 3, 2020

By William B. Depasupil, Manila Times, 3 Dec 2020

ALMOST 50,000 or 4 percent of about 1.4 million Filipinos working as domestic helpers or “kasambahay” are minors, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE).

It is among the gaps and gross violations pinpointed by the survey conducted by DoLE and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 10361, otherwise known as the Domestic Workers Act or the Kasambahay Law.

In a report to Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello 3rd, the National Wages and Productivity Commission (NWPC) confirmed that policy and program challenges continue to plague the implementation of RA 10361 seven years after its enactment.

Highlights of the survey results showed that of the 49,000 child domestic workers, 4,900 are below 15 years old. The Kasambahay law prohibits employment of domestic workers aged 14 and below.

The same survey showed that only 2.5 percent of the 1.4 million domestics or about 35,000 have written employment contracts which are required under the law.

It also showed that 83 percent of the 1.4 million household helps around the country are not covered by any social security benefit and 2 percent pay for the entire premium contribution without employers sharing in the cost.

Likewise, the DoLE-PSA survey showed that some live-in workers or 36 percent work 7 days a week, without the benefit of a rest day in violation of RA 10361 and other existing laws.

It also pointed out that “only 41 percent of domestic workers are aware of Batas Kasambahay, indicating low level of awareness of their rights and privileges.”

The average monthly salary of domestic workers is P4,141, ranging from P2,681 in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to P5,958 in the National Ccapital Region or Metro Manila.

Current minimum wage of domestic workers is P5,000 in NCR and ranges from P2,000 to P5,000 elsewhere.

To address the problem, Bello ordered the convening of the Domestic Work BellInter-Agency Committee to study the survey results and identify measures to address gaps in the implementation of Batas Kasambahay and related rules and guidelines as indicated in the results.

He also pushed for a wider information dissemination on the rights of domestic helpers and the obligation of employers under RA 10361.

The Philippines is a signatory to International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189 promoting the rights and protection of domestic workers based on decent work.

The Philippine ratification of the Convention was the precursor of RA10361 which seeks to change the conditions of the domestic workers by institutionalizing their rights similar to the rights of workers in the formal sector.

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