KASAMBAHAY Talk. Students working as Kasambahay actively participate in the discussion during the 2nd Araw ng mga Kasambahay Celebration at the Assumption College of Davao. The historic law protecting the rights of domestic workers celebrated its second anniversary in an informative, fun-filled and youthful joy among working students.

Dubbed as the 2nd Araw ng mga Kasambahay”, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Davao Region led the celebration in partnership with the Sunday High School Education Program of the Assumption College of Davao.

DOLE Davao Regional Director Joffrey M. Suyao said that DOLE is throwing full support to Batas Kasambahay by further strengthening the information dissemination about the rights and duties of employers and workers as well as their (kasambahay) protection from harmful or hazardous working environment.

“We are one in promoting the welfare and protection of our domestic workers,” Suyao said.

President Benigno S. Aquino III signed last January 18, 2013, Republic Act 10361 otherwise known as the Domestic Workers Act more popularly known as “Batas Kasambahay” instituting the policies for the protection and welfare of the domestic workers

“The DOLE makes sure that through this landmark law of the Aquino administration, domestic workers are provided safe, decent and humane working conditions,” Suyao said.

This year’s celebration, the DOLE focused on disseminating information and advocacy campaign on Occupation Safety and Health of domestic workers.

Engr. Henjie Gatdula discussed Occupational Safety and Health tips to close to 200 participants who actively participated in the forum and fun games and surprises which highlighted the celebration.

“Sometimes, we may not be aware that while we are working in inside the house we are already exposed to hazards, say exposure to chemicals, improper body positions and the like which seem trivial yet atual has great impact on our health and safety,” Gatdula said.

During the celebration, DILG representative Mika-Chan S. Magtulis was also present. Under the law, DILG is the lead agency mandated to register the domestic workers in every barangay.

According to DILG’s record, there is a very low number of recorded kasamabahays in the region.

“We are urging the barangay local government units to advocate in their respective jurisdiction the registration of kasamabahay for the protection of both employer and worker,” Magtulis said.

Kasambahay law covers general household helpers including yayas, cooks, gardeners, laundry persons and helpers hired on a live-out arrangement. However, family drivers and individuals who perform occasional and sporadic work and not on an occupational and regular basis are not covered.

The law said that a kasambahay who  has rendered service for one month is eligible for 13th month pay, SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG benefits.

“Aside from the social protection benefits, the law has also  standardized the minimum wage of P2,500 for Metro Manila, P2,000 for cities and 1st class municipalities and P1,500 for other municipalities; daily rest period of 8 total hours, weekly rest period of 24 uninterrupted hours, five days annual service incentive leave with pay,” Suyao said.

Sherwin B. Manual/DOLE11