Angara hails signing of Kasambahay Bill into Law

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Aurora Representative Edgardo “Sonny” Angara today expressed gratitude as President Benigno S. Aquino III approved the Domestic Workers Law, popularly known as the “Kasambahay Bill.”

“This is good news to the almost two million domestic workers in our country. This sends a strong message that President Aquino is focused on spreading ‘inclusive growth’ throughout the country,” said Angara, who is an author of the newly signed law.

“The measure makes sure that even our domestic workers will feel the gains achieved under the current administration. Pati mga kasambahay natin, kasama sa kaunlaran. ”

Previously, Article 143 of the Labor Code pegs the monthly wage of kasambahays in Metro Manila at P800, those in “highly urbanized areas” at P650 and in other municipalities, P550.

Under the new law, domestic helpers will now receive P2,500 monthly for those working in the National Capital Region, P2,000 per month for those working in chartered cities and first class municipalities and P1,500 for the rest.

Aside from the pay standardization, the new law assures all domestic helpers entitlement to  13th month pay, coverage in the Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth, Pag-Ibig Fund and all the benefits provided under the Philippine Social Security System (RA 8282),as amended.

If the kasambahay salary is P5,000 and above, payment of SSS and Pag-Ibig contributions will be shared by both the employer and helper, while Philhealth premiums will still be paid in full by the employer.

The law also entitles domestic workers who have rendered at least one year of service an annual service incentive leave of five days with pay.

Angara stressed, “The new law defines the social protections afforded to our kasambahays but we still urge employers, especially the relatively well-of ones, to go beyond the minimum benefits provided by the law. Domestic workers should still be able to find dignity in the work they do.”

As Chair of the House Committee on Higher and Technical Education, Angara added that domestic helpers should also have access to education.

“One of the laudable provisions of this law is the kasambahay’s right to education. Employers should not hinder their domestic workers from pursuing educational opportunities, may it be for college or even tech-voc courses. This way the skill-sets of kasambahays will be enhanced, thereby expanding the job opportunities open to them,” explained the former law professor.

“We have been pushing for the passage of this landmark legislation since 2010 and we thank President Aquino for acting on it promptly. The enactment of law should only bring more hope to the many domestic workers, toiling away just to earn a living,” the veteran legislator concluded.

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