MANILA, Philippines—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is set to conduct an online public consultation for the crafting of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10361, also known as the Domestic Workers Act or Batas Kasambahay.
“This is part of our strategy to raise the level of public knowledge on the salient provisions of the law, which aims to provide adequate welfare and social protection to our Filipino household service workers,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.
She directed the Labor Communications Office, in cooperation with the Bureau of Working Conditions and the Planning Service, to post on the official DOLE website, www.dole.gov.ph, the government’s draft of the IRR.
The Batas Kasambahay section on the website features simplified questions and answers, both in English and Filipino, to ensure that RA 10361 will reach and be understood by a wider audience.
The section also provides a “freedom wall” where the public can leave their queries, comments, suggestions and input regarding the IRR draft on the agency’s designated e-mail addresses.
“We have decided to upload the draft IRR on the Internet to get as many comments as possible, because even some DOLE officials and employees, and members of the media have raised questions on the Batas Kasambahay which need to be addressed and clarified,” Baldoz said.
“The online posting of the IRR on the Batas Kasambahay will provide the general public a venue to study the IRR and make comments or suggestions on its final version. It will give Filipino netizens a channel to express their views on the landmark document after years of legislative struggle,” she added.
Baldoz emphasized that DOLE’s online solicitation of comments on the IRR was in addition to the nationwide face-to-face group consultations with all stakeholders scheduled for the whole month of April.
“We want the public and our partners to get involved in shaping the implementing rules of this social legislation. By doing so, we hope to solicit not only valuable input but also support, which will make the law’s implementation effective and smooth,” she said.
On Jan. 18, President Aquino signed into law the Kasambahay Bill which is expected to benefit over 2.9 million Filipino domestic helpers.
The Batas Kasambahay institutionalizes the provision of a comprehensive package of benefits to Filipino household service workers, including their entitlement to 13th month pay, leaves and benefits such as SSS, Pag-Ibig and PhilHealth.
The law fulfills the country’s obligation to enact a national legislation in compliance with the International Labor Organization’s adoption of Convention No. 189, which sets new international standards for the protection of household helpers.