The Kasambahay Bill and the ‘yayas’-A A +A
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
EVER since I was a kid, I always have high respect to our yayas considering the all-around work they have to do inside the house. I don’t even mind if some of them “borrowed” my Sweet Dreams pocketbook only to find out they were never returned in the bookshelf. Or I even sacrifice myself from listening to my favorite FM station in exchange for their “Handumanan sa Usa ka Awit.” All because I know from the start how hard it is to make a living and to be far away from home.
Now that I’m married, I still have high respect to yayas simply because they managed to take care of my kids especially that my husband and I are both working and frequently on travels.
Since my eldest was born (she is now five), there were nine yayas who became part of our family, all of whom I handled in different levels.
I used to have a house helper who is very excellent in terms of cooking and cleaning every corner of our house. With Tintin, our house undergoes total transformation every weekend.
I also had a house helper, Jingjing, who is very expert in terms of doing make-up and experimenting with clothes. How I remember those moments when we go to Carmen market with me wearing T-shirt and shorts while my helper is clad in her skinny jeans, spaghetti-strapped outfit and her wedges.
Back then, I’m sure people are thinking the other way around.
But I also had hard times with them especially when a certain Mel was introduced to us. At first glance, I liked her right away since she was the silent and obedient type. But who would ever think that she was the most challenging of them all? I used to remember when my Thea argued with her while taking a bath. After listening to their exchange, I discovered that the pail was filled with water mixed with Downy Antibac because she wants to use it as “shampoo” to my kid. No wonder my kid was practically saying, “Dli man ko bulingon mommy. Bata bya ko.”
Worse, she happened to sterilize the feeding bottles together with our toothbrush. Goodbye Oral-B, your bristles are all gone.
But despite of these challenges and out-of-nowhere experiences with house helpers, I am glad that the Kasambahay Bill has finally been realized.
According to the mandate, the new law sets the minimum wage of domestic workers to a minimum of P2,500 a month in the National Capital Region; P2,000 a month in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities.
Besides the standardized pay, domestic workers will be entitled to other social benefits provided under existing laws and to be enrolled in the Social Security System, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig Fund, with premium payments shouldered by the employers if the helpers receive a monthly salary below P5,000.
And with this mandate, I do not have any plans of breaking the law because I feel and I understand how hard it is to work for a family who is not even related to you.
To be fair, there are also yayas who would be there for you through thick and thin. To some extent, I even had yayas (employed by my mother) who got married and still comes back to visit our family. These are just some of my consolations whenever I see them very successful in life like getting married or finishing their education.
But what if your house helper tells you this, “Dli na lang ko mokaon kay nawala na akong gana.” This, after you requested her to buy ice for your softdrinks. And take note, you were the one who cooked dinner.
Now, this is another story. My point? I just hope that the Kasambahay Bill would also have “friendlier” provisions for ordinary people like me.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on February 07, 2013.