Expedited consolidation of bills on Magna Carta for daycare workers pushed
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Imee Marcos on Tuesday pushed for the swift consolidation of bills or proposed measures for the Magna Carta of daycare workers, which seeks to increase their allowances and benefits.
The Senate bills on the Magna Carta for Child Development or Day Care workers were introduced by Senators Nancy Binay, Jinggoy Estrada, Cynthia Villar, Bong Revilla, Jr. and Mark Villar.
These bills seek to improve the working conditions of child development workers, including their allowances and benefits, which Marcos said are below either P1,000 or P500 per month.
“I don’t claim to have the solution, but somehow let’s hammer it out even if it’s a work in progress, at least nasimulan (at least we started something),” said Marcos at the hearing of the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development.
Likewise, Pearl Reyes of the Federation of Daycare Workers group said that they have been pushing for the passage of the Magna Carta for child development or daycare workers since the 10th congress since some daycare workers only receive P1,000 or below per month.
“Tenth congress pa po ito inilapit at ngayon po ay 19th congress […] Ito po yung nakikita naming solution sa maraming daing ng ating mga daycare workers,” Reyes said.
(We have been pushing for this passage since the 10th congress. It’s already the 19th congress. We believe this is the solution to daycare workers’ grievances.)
Sen. Marcos said that the problem has always been with funding.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government explained that some local government units (LGUs) could no longer allocate their funds to daycare workers due to tight budgets.
“Lalo na dun sa pinakamaliit na barangay na less than two million ang budget napakalaki ay kung talagang ito ay isasama pa,” said DILG Undersecretary for Barangay Affairs Felicito Valmocino.
(This will hurt small barangays, especially those that have a budget of less than P2 million.)
Sen.Marcos asked the national government agencies if they could make a five-year plan and apply for the benefits first to just one daycare or child development worker with accreditation.
“Ang problema ang total natin ngayon nasa 65,000 ang day care centers, what if we start with only one child development worker muna,” Marcos suggested.
(The problem is we have 65,000 daycare centers. What if we start with just one child development worker.)
“Let’s make a five year plan kasi di naman talaga kakayanin ng DBM, NEDA, and DOF yan, ano kaya kung tig isa lang muna itong 65,424, ipako muna natin sa salary grade six yung mababang mababa muna it’s better than what they’re getting now,” she added.
(Let’s make a five-year plan because the DBM, NEDA, and DOF cannot handle this alone. What if we get one worker for each of the 65,424 centers and start with salary grade six? It’s better than what they are getting now.)
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Director Maricel Deloria disclosed that the agency’s prepared budget estimate for a child development worker 1 or 2 is P25,094 per month (P17,553 base salary and P7,541 benefits).
If followed, the budget estimate will reach P1.6 billion monthly and P21.3 billion annually.
“Malaki laki siya pero at least it’s a start kahit pakonti konti hindi naman pwedeng zero ang tagal tagal na nito eh. Magplano tayo on a three year basis or five year basis,” said Sen. Marcos.
She tapped all concerned agencies to suggest how to expedite the consolidation of the senate bills and finally implement the measure.