DAVAO City Councilor Bai Hundra Cassandra Dominique Advincula, who chairs the Committee on Labor, underscored the rights and responsibilities of employers and house helpers in light of a missing house helper.
In a media interview on Tuesday, October 3, at the Sangguniang Panlungsod, Advincula referred to Republic Act Number 10361, also known as the Domestic Workers Act or the "Batas Kasambahay," which outlines the rights and obligations of employers and house helpers.
She said domestic workers have the right to decent work, a safe home, and fair compensation. They are also entitled to humane working conditions and access to social protections like PhilHealth, Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-Ibig.
House helpers also have the right to terminate their employment, not only the employer.
“If we make an assessment if strictly gina-follow ba kailangan pa jud ug kanang strict implementation on this law and sa part din sa LGU, the republic act has been also specific ug unsay role sa LGU (If we make an assessment on the strict adherence to the implementation of this law, both from a legal standpoint and within the local government unit)," she said.
She also said that the LGU's role is to facilitate house helpers' access to essential services offered by institutions like the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole), Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), Department of Education (DepEd), and the Davao City Police Office (DCPO).
Regarding the case of the missing house helper, Advincula said she is awaiting the results of the DCPO's investigation. She also commended the police for conducting an impartial inquiry into the matter.
To ensure an unbiased investigation, it was recommended that the implicated police officer be temporarily relieved of duty, allowing for a thorough examination of the incident, Advincula noted.
She underscored the necessity for education, information dissemination, and advocacy about the Batas Kasambahay's provisions.
By empowering individuals with knowledge of their rights, they can approach government agencies like Dole if they face issues related to their working conditions or if they are subjected to demeaning requests.
“If they feel that their safety is threatened they can always also makaduol sa atoang mga kabarangayan pod naa tay action pod ana na makuha pod (If they feel their safety is at risk, they can always turn to their barangay, which also has its own mechanisms in place),” Advincula said.
Meanwhile, Davao City Vice Mayor Melchor Quitain, in a separate media interview still on the same day, reassured Dabawenyos that they need not be overly concerned about the recent spate of crimes.
“Like in all other LGUs there are cases like this, not just in Davao, we should not be alarmed or anything the most, we just treat this as (an) isolated incident,” Quitain said. RGP