MANILA, Philippines–After close to two months of waiting, President Benigno Aquino III has finally enacted into law the “Kasambahay Bill” setting a fixed monthly pay of up to P2,500 and more social benefits for close to two million domestic workers.
“We are pleased to confirm that President Aquino signed Republic Act 10361 or An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers last Jan. 18,” said Undersecretary Abigail Valte, deputy presidential spokesperson.
Over the last few weeks, some senators and lawmakers have aired the call for the President to sign the measure into law which the Senate and House of Representatives ratified in late November.
The law pegs the minimum wage of domestic workers in Metro Manila at P2,500, in chartered cities and first-class municipalities at P2,000 and other municipalities at P1,500.
The law says that this should be paid in cash directly to the worker once a month, and not by promissory notes, vouchers, coupons, tokens, tickets or chits. It entitles the worker to a 13th month pay.
After a year of service, a worker is entitled to an incentive leave of five days with pay.
But after a month of service, the worker shall be covered by the Social Security System, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., and the Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG, and shall be entitled to all the benefits.
The employer will shoulder the premium payments or contributions. But if the worker is paid P5,000 and above a month, the worker will pay the proportionate share in the premium payments or contributions.