By Leonel Abasola
MANILA – Senator Raffy Tulfo on Thursday lamented the low compliance of the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) for the coverage of kasambahay or domestic workers.
Tulfo, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, said these agencies are not doing enough to ensure that employers in the country have registered and have been paying the contributions of their househelp.
Based on a 2019 joint survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), there are 1.4 million registered domestic workers in the country.
Of these, only 6 percent or 84,190 kasambahay were enrolled by their employers in SSS while only 5 percent or 74,858 were registered by the same in PhilHealth. There were only 3.4 percent or 51,579 domestic workers enrolled by their employers in Pag-IBIG.
The lawmaker was also dismayed by the failure of barangays to implement the registration system for kasambahay, knowing that some employers are too busy to enroll their house help for said coverage or deliberately avoid doing so to avert payments.
Under the “Domestic Workers Act” or “Batas Kasambahay,” every employer shall register a house help under his/her employment in the barangay where his/her residence is located. The Punong Barangay shall be responsible for the registry of kasambahay within his/her jurisdiction.
As such, the senator recommended removing the qualified theft punishment for kasambahay, which is being used by employers to pin down house helps seeking better treatment or complaining about work-related benefits. (With a report from Leonel Abasola/PNA)