April M. Montes
ROSALES, Pangasinan – Sunday was no ordinary day for house helpers as they enjoyed collectively their time off from house work in the first Araw ng Kasambahay (Domestic Workers’ Day).
In eastern Pangasinan, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has calendared events for house helpers at the SM City Rosales.
Director Grace Ursua of DOLE Ilocos said the celebration is in support to the Republic Act 10361, otherwise known as the Domestic Workers Act or ‘Batas Kasambahay,’ which mandates January 18 as the “Araw ng mga Kasambahay.”
She said the agency opted to conduct the event on January 26 as most domestic workers have their day-off on Sunday.
“The celebration is a fitting opportunity to herald the Kasambahay Law which strengthens respect for domestic workers and makes decent work a reality for them,” said Ursua.
Around 50 domestic workers were given free orientation on the salient provisions of the law, including relevant matters falling under the Social Security System (SSS), Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) and Home Development Mutual Fund or Pag-IBIG.
Ursua added that skills training opportunities were presented to the domestic workers by representatives of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
Domestic helpers also availed of free haircut, manicure, pedicure, and massage courtesy of TESDA.
The Kasambahay Law is touted as a landmark piece of labor and social legislation that recognizes for the first time domestic workers as similar to those in the formal sector.
Essentially, it provides for certain mandatory benefits for domestic workers such as minimum wage; service incentive leave; 13th month pay; SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG benefits; daily and weekly rest periods, including measures to ensure the promotion of their welfare.
The DOLE leads the implementation of the Kasambahay Law in cooperation with the Department of Interior and Local Government, Department of Social Welfare and Development, law enforcement agencies, local government units, SSS, Pag-IBIG, PhilHealth, and other agencies. (MCA/AMM PIA-Pangasinan with reports from DOLE)