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Batas Kasambahay takes effect, employers urged to abide
BAGUIO CITY-The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz directed all DOLE Regional Offices to coordinate the Kasambahay Law's full implementation and to designate kasambahay desk officers to conciliate complaints filed by house helpers.

DOLE-CAR Regional Director Henry John S. Jalbuena said the Kasambahay Law or Republic Act no. 10361 aims to ensure better working conditions for the two million household service workers nationwide and has set the minimum wage of house helpers employed in Metro Manila at P2, 500 a month, those in cities and first class municipalities at P2, 000 and those in other municipalities at P1500.

"Batas Kasambahay requires both employer and the domestic worker to execute a contract of employment, thereby effectively protecting both parties. It not only sets the minimum wage of a domestic worker, it also ensures that they are duly registered by their employers in social benefit systems." Dir. Jalbuena added.

The Director added that a house helper who has rendered at least one month of service shall also be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), Employers Compensation Commission, Phil Health and Pag-Ibig Fund and also requires employers to register the workers in the barangay. The Punong Barangay shall be responsible for the registry of workers within their jurisdiction and submit the list to the Local Government Unit.

In a related development, Labor Secretary Baldoz also ordered agencies under DOLE to comply with the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) and other provisions of the law and tasked all DOLE Regional Offices in coordination with the Bureau of Working Conditions (BWC) shall ensure compliance with labor standards provisions of the Kasambahay Law and also to provide copies of kasambahay forms and attachments to barangays in areas of jurisdiction.

The National Conciliation and mediation Board (NCMB), meanwhile, was directed to facilitate training for Kasambahay Desk Offices in conciliating complaints while the Bureau of Workers and Special Concerns (BWSC) shall serve as program manager that will ensure effective implementation of the IRR.

The Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), on the other hand, shall clarify the applicability of private recruitment placement agencies and the new law that provides for the system of licensing and regulations of private employment agencies. The bureau shall also conduct consultations with recruitment agencies to iron out the issues concerning the implementation of the IRR.

Employers who do not provide right wages and fulfill their obligations to their house helpers now face penalties with a fine of P10, 000 but not more than P40, 000.

The Kasambahay Law was signed into law by His Excellency Benigno C. Aquino III on January 18, 2013 and took effect last June 4, 2013.

(Patrick Rillorta - LEO II)

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