THE Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) should beef up its efforts to inform the public about the prescribed standards, rights and privileges for the domestic workers, as contained in the Kasambahay Law, Senator Jose "Jinggoy" Estrada said Friday.
Estrada, author of Republic Act 10361, which institutes policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers, made the statement following Dole’s admission that many employers are not complying with the law.
As of December 2014, the Dole said 120,000 house maids were registered with Social Security System (SSS), 26,271 registered with Pag-ibig Fund, and 59,734 registered with Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
A 2010 data showed that there are an estimated two million Filipinos working as general househelp, nursemaid or yaya, cook, gardener, and laundry person.
While he lauded Dole for setting up the Kasambahay Unified Registration System (URS), Estrada urged concerned agencies to reach out more employers and domestic workers perhaps through mobile offices, encourage them to sign up, and ensure that kasambahay population is getting the most out of the law.
URS simplifies the new members’ registration procedure for SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-ibig.
“The figures tell us that still very few domestic workers are covered with social security benefits: less than seven percent are SSS members, three percent are PhilHealth members, and one percent are Pag-ibig members,” said Estrada.
Estrada noted that Dole, in coordination with the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, SSS, PhilHealth, Employees’ Compensation Commission, and Pag-ibig, is directed to develop and implement a continuous information dissemination program on the provisions of the law, both at the national and local levels.
He further said that the law’s implementing rules and regulations state that the employers, kasambahay associations, labor organizations, and civil society groups shall be tapped in the information dissemination campaign.
Even after two years since its enactment last January 2013, Estrada said such low membership turnout could be a symptom of still prevalent non-compliance with and not full implementation of other important provisions of the landmark labor measure.
“I am worried that the data showed a sign that many are still not aware and cannot understand the provisions of the Batas Kasambahay. And maybe, many are still not abiding and cannot abide the implementing rules and regulations of Batas Kasambahay,” the senator said.
Aside from coverage of social security benefits, the Kasambahay Law provides decent working conditions and benefits for domestic workers, minimum wages and benefits similar to those in the formal employment sector, protection against abuse and maltreatment, nationwide registration system for all domestic workers at the barangay level, among others. (Sunnex)