House panel OKs proposals to create Magna Carta for child dev’t workers
MANILA, Philippines — A House of Representatives panel has approved and consolidated different bills seeking to institute a Magna Carta for child development workers (CDWs), who have been working under dire conditions.
During the hearing of the House committee on the welfare of children, none of the lawmakers present objected to a motion to approve and consolidate 17 House Bills (HB) — all of which call for the protection of CDWs or day-care center workers (DCWs).
If the consolidated version of the said bill is enacted, plantilla positions in daycare centers operated by the government would be created to ensure the security of the tenure of CDWs.
Currently, committee chairperson and BHW party-list Rep. Angelica Natasha Co said that numbers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) indicate that more CDWs are working under unsecured posts, with only around 8,700 of all 79,451 workers in 2021 getting permanent posts.
Worse, some of the CDWs only get around P1,000 per month.
“For the year 2021, DSWD recorded a total of 79,451 CDWs or DCWs who are occupying tenured and untenured positions without standard wages and benefits. With the said number, 17,000 are occupying casual positions, 23,000 are holding contractual positions, 5,000 are job orders, and 15,000 are serving under a memorandum of agreement,” Co said in her opening speech.
“And only 8,739 were given permanent positions. For 2022 DSWD recorded a total of 86,000 CDWs or daycare workers and as of July 2022, 14,000 of them CDWs received a monthly honorarium or salary range of below P1,000 — while only 1,054 CDWs are above P1,000,” she added.
Co said it is incumbent upon lawmakers to craft legislation that would address this problem, especially since CDWs are entrusted with the huge responsibility of taking care of the country’s children.
“Child development workers play a vital role in the promotion of the rights of the children to survival, development, and protection. They mainly assist in the provision of a full range of health, nutrition, early education, and social services development programs that provide for the basic holistic needs of children aged 0 to 4 years,” she said.
“With these numbers, I enjoin everyone to direct all your efforts towards relieving the plight of child development workers in (abject) working conditions […] It is incumbent upon us members of the public sector with the help of our partners in the private sector, to provide [CDWs] with the proper compensation, remuneration, and job security that they truly deserve,” she added.
Among the benefits that CDWs may receive if the Magna Carta is enacted are the following:
- Bill of rights
- Higher wages
- PhilHealth membership
- Social benefits
- Cost of living allowance
- Overtime pay
- Retirement benefits
“This bill will ensure the future of millions of Filipino children aged 0 to 4 years old, while also granting the security of tenure, salaries, and benefits to [CDWs] tasked to promote the optimum growth and development of children,” Co noted.
A similar bill has been filed in the Senate, with no less than Senator Imee Marcos pushing for the swift consolidation of the bills that would increase day-care center workers’ salaries and allowances.
In the Senate hearing on the said bill, Pearl Reyes of the Federation of Daycare Workers group said they have been asking for the passage of the bill as early as the 10th Congress. Her statements also confirmed DSWD’s figures that some daycare workers only receive P1,000 or below per month.