IT IS a whiff of good news that the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has announced that the National Capital Region-National Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board has approved a wage increase for kasambahays of additional P1,000 a month, bringing the monthly take home of our kasambahays in the National Capital Region (NCR) to P6,000 a month.’’
Last June 24, which was Araw ng Maynila and also the Feast Day in San Juan, Metro Manila, Senator Jinggoy Estrada expressed his gratitude to the National Capital Region (NCR) Wage Board for increasing the daily wage of domestic workers or “kasambahays” by P1,000.
This latest wage increase brings the total monthly salary of kasambahays to P6,000.
Senator Estrada, who authored the "Batas Kasambahay," said in a statement that the wage hike among domestic helpers will "surely help ease the burden brought about by rising fuel cost and basic commodities.”
‘’Bilang principal author ng ‘Batas Kasambahay,’ ipinaglaban at tinutukan natin ang pagtiyak na patas at makatwirang buwanang sahod ng ating mga kasambahay (As principal author of ‘Batas Kasambahay’, I fought for and made sure that household helpers get a fair monthly salary),’’ he said.
The senator from San Juan was referring to Republic Act 10361, which is an Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers, otherwise known as 'Domestic Workers Act' or 'Batas Kasambahay.' The law was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III on January 18, 2013.
Estrada's measure is a landmark piece of labor and social legislation that recognizes for the first time domestic workers as similar to those in the formal sector.
It strengthens respect, protection, and promotion of the rights and welfare of domestic workers or kasambahay.
It is interesting to note that it took Congress 16 years to pass the Kasambahay Law or Magna Carta for Domestic Workers. Before this, the last measure passed in Congress was in 1993 -- the RA 7655 or An Act Increasing the Minimum Wage of Househelpers.
Senator Estrada concludes: ‘’Nananawagan din tayo sa iba pang Regional Wage Board na agad na pag-aralan din ang pag-adjust ng sweldo ng mga kasambahay sa nasasakupan nilang rehiyon upang tiyakin na ito ay sapat at makatwiran sa gitna ng sunod-sunod na pagtaas ng presyo ng mga bilihin (I ask other Regional Wage Boards to immediately study adjustments to the salaries of household helpers in their jurisdictions that they are just and fair owing to price increases of commodities),’’ he added.
This corner believes that Jinggoy, who will be returning to the Senate this July, will continue championing the rights of laborers and the poor.