Friday, 7 June 2013

My Take on The Philippine Kasambahay Law

June 04, 2013 marks the effectivity of Republic Act No. 10361, otherwise known as the "Domestic Workers Act" or "Batas Kasambahay" (you can view the bill here or a more simplified version here). A "Kasambahay" or "Domestic Worker" as what it say are the general house-helper, nanny or "yaya", cook, gardener, or laundry person (but shall exclude family drivers, persons under foster family arrangement and service providers. You can view the entire details under Sec. 2 & 3 of the bill). As an employer, I have to read thoroughly, know and understand what is the bill all about. I have a nanny and a house-helper because of my 2 kids. If not, I'd prefer not to have even one.

In general, my opinion on the passed bill is that it is applicable for those people who drafted and spearheaded it. They are politicians whose income is way beyond the salaries of ordinary people. Or yet they haven't experienced to have worked with a "problem-child" house-helper. Moreover, it should have fair play with regards to the rules and regulations stipulated between the employer and employee and not weighing more only on the employee or vice-versa. But in this case, it's like the kasambahay had all the rights and you, the owner of the house, don't have!

I'm quoting on some rules in the bill that I have a reaction to. Read after the break..


Rule IV. Rights and Privileges of Kasambahay (Sec. 9. Social Security Benefits)Situationer: We consider ourselves as ordinary people having a net monthly income of no more than 20,000.00 with 6 members in the household. The monthly bills like electricity, water, house mortgage, groceries plus gasoline takes a lot of bulk in our monthly expenses. I don't mean depriving them on this one. But maybe one of this might help already in their security benefit since they are still in school. And for most of the week they are in our house vicinity. Less chances of getting hazardous risk of any ill-fated elements. Either SSS and/or Philhealth will suffice already. It's additional financial burden in the employers part. A monthly salary of 5,000.00 is only for the rich employers. Not for ordinary people like us which we have to shoulder for these monthly premiums.

Rule IV. Rights of the Kasambahay (Sec. 14. Guarantee of Privacy). The employer shall, at all times, respect the right of the Kasambahay to privacy, which shall extend to ALL forms of communication and personal effects.  Each individual has a right to his own privacy. But what if the undereducated individual doesn't know what privacy is? And in my own experience, even if you already instilled in them that mine is mine and yours is yours, they don't get it. They are just fond of using what is not theirs even if we are around. How much more if we are out of the house. And if you reprimand them of respecting things that is not theirs, they find you a strict boss. Or they find you selfish for not letting them borrow things. You are at fault. Aww,,shucks!!

Rule IV. Rights of the Kasambahay (Sec. 15. Access to Outside Communication). This is in connection to the prior section. This I have to say is crucial. In my case, my problem with my helpers is that having their own cellphones means a lot of talktime. Even in the middle of their work they talk like crazy. Mind you, speaker phoning and earphones ang peg. Bongga! As if there is no tomorrow and they talk like they haven't been in contact with months even if they just saw each other a while ago and everyday that is. Drawing a line between the right to privacy and communication is something that I dealt for a very long time now. They can't help it that when they are in their province they have nothing. Now that they are earning and can afford to buy those gadgets, they feel like they are in vogue. I cannot deprive them from having cellphones because it's the only way of communication to call them at home plus checking on my kids if they are okay. Plus, it scares me too that having outside communication means talking to their friends and giving information about our house thus inviting not good motives to the other party. I tell them endlessly that having a cellphone comes with great responsibility and discipline. It is a way of communicating important things and if emergency calls for it. It is not for a status or for burning lines to the extent of burning your brains and ears too! 

Rule V. Rights and Obligations of the Employer. What can I say? It's more on the obligation of the employer and a little less of our rights. It's still for the rights of the kasambahay. In favor of the kasambahay pa rin. Sana kahit itong rule number man lang na ito manaig ang rights nating mga employers.

Rule VIII. TESDA Skills Training, Assessment & Certification. Is this really necessary? I mean going through rigorous training such as these is over exaggerating for a minute house as ours. I can teach them my own way that is applicable in our household. I would love this if only this would be offered by the government for free: specifically those politicians who passed this bill. Their assistance to kasambahays since it was them who made this bill anyway.

Overall, I am not against having a bill like this. In fairness, I have some rules that I think are good. Its just that the whole context was not made for the majority of employers who are living and earning on an average: enough until the next quincena comes. And we are also aware of kasambahays who in return not giving their sincere and honest to goodness quality of service to their employers as we see almost regularly in the news.

**Here are links of the forms needed as stipulated in the Kasambahay Law. These are forms of the Department of Labor and Employment for our reference and guide:

BK-3 (Certificate of employment)
BK-1 (Standard Employment Contract)
BK-2 (Sample format of payslip)

3 comments:

  1. I feel the same way. I actually told my husband na parang pang-mayaman na ngayon ang may maid. Having one is too costly, plus domestic helpers are very picky and maarte kasi they know that they have "rights." We have one yaya for our 5-month old, but we're letting her go. Like I said, masyado nang mahal magkaroon ng helper. Hindi ko rin mautusan ng sobra kasi designation niya ay "yaya" lang. Ugh.

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    1. True ka dyan Mommy! They seem to be not intimidated by their employers. Very at home masyado. Parang house na rin nila. Unlike before househelpers stays longer because my goal sila to earn para sa familieis nila back home. Pero now mostly, not naman all, kung hindi nila feel ang household they prefer to go. Househelpers now are very picky and may standards na rin sila. Bongga!

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