Lawmaker wants greater accountability from private employment agencies
MANILA Philippines — A bill seeking to impose greater accountability and responsibility on private employment agencies (PEA) has been filed in the Senate.
Senator Manuel “Lito” Lapid lodged Senate Bill 1811 in late January as he sought to amend Republic Act (RA) 10361, or the “Batas Kasambahay Law,” to hold PEAs liable in the employment of domestic helpers.
In filing the measure, the senator said that the imposed requirements on applicants seeking employment as domestic helpers is insufficient to safeguard employers and their families from household workers with “criminal intentions.”
“Ang pagsusumite lamang ng mga pamantayang kinakailangan na ito ay hindi sapat upang protektahan ang mga kumukuha ng serbisyo ng mga PEA,” Lapid pointed out in a statement on Wednesday.
(Submitting requirements will not suffice to protect employers applying for service from PEAs.)
“Ang layunin nitong ating inihaing panukalang batas ay maprotektahan ang mga employer at ang kanilang mga pamilya sa loob ng kanilang tirahan laban sa mga maaaring gumamit ng mga PEA sa mga posibleng kriminal na intensyon,” the senator added.
(This law aims to protect employers and their families in their own households against workers who might exploit PEA for their criminal intentions.)
As such, the proposed bill mandates PEAs to “diligently conduct background checks” and verify applicants’ identity and personal circumstances using relevant documents, such as clearances from the National Bureau of Investigation, police, and barangays.
The Batas Kasambahay was first enacted in 2013 to protect domestic workers from exploitation and ensure just compensation and benefits. —Vance Chan, Inquirer.net, trainee
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