By Filane Mikee Cervantes
MANILA – A party-list lawmaker on Thursday proposed the issuance of a joint memorandum to improve compliance with the Kasambahay law.
Senior Citizens Rep. Rodolfo Ordanes urged the Department of Labor and Employment, National Wages and Productivity Commission, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Privacy Commission, and Liga ng mga Barangay to approve a joint memorandum to ensure firmer implementation and monitoring of Republic Act (RA) 10361 or the Domestic Workers Act to improve the plight of caregivers in the country.
“The joint pact should contain measures to enhance enforcement and monitoring measures especially at the barangay, municipal, and city levels,” he said.
He argued that low wages, weak enforcement of the law, and unfavorable working conditions compel domestic workers to find work abroad.
“Dakila ang malasakit ng OFW [overseas Filipino worker] caregivers sa Israel na ayaw iwan ang kanilang mga inaalagaang seniors at bata, sa gitna ng giyera doon. Pero nakakalungkot din na kailangan pa nilang malayo sa sariling pamilya upang seniors ng ibang bansa ang kanilang alagaan imbes na Pinoy seniors dito sa Pilipinas (OFW caregivers in Israel are so noble for their compassion because they’re not leaving behind the seniors and children whom they’re taking care of amidst the war. But it is saddening that they have to be far away from their own families so that they could take care of seniors in a different country rather the seniors in the Philippines),” Ordanes said.
Ordanes said implementers of the Kasambahay Law could refine the definition of the term “yaya” in the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of RA 10361.
He noted that there should be a distinction between a “yaya” that is employed to look after children and a “yaya” that is employed to take care of a sick or elderly person.
“Because although a yaya usually cares for children, there are households wherein the yaya cares for seniors, adults with special needs, and PWDs (persons with disabilities),” he said.
The joint pact, he said, should also prescribe a new registration system that requires the local government units to make sure every household in their jurisdiction is properly surveyed to ascertain which ones engage the services of a kasambahay, as well as distinguish the kinds of kasambahay–either those for children or for adults.
“There should be a prescribed detailed registration form. During kasambahay registration, there must be submission and filing of a signed photocopy of monthly pay slip and verification of mandatory benefits contribution payments,” he said.
To incentivize kasambahay registration, Ordanes said the DILG Seal of Good Local Governance program should include kasambahay registration among the specific program criteria and include them among the target beneficiaries of ayuda (support) programs such as Assistance to Individual In Crisis Situation Program (AICS) and Tulong Panghanapbuhay Sa Ating Disadvantaged / Displaced Workers (TUPAD) Program. (PNA)