When you catch yaya doing a bad deed--whether she’s been stealing from you or hurting your child--asking her to leave is a natural course of action, but it’s not necessarily the best one. Not only should yaya be accountable for her action, other families must be forewarned of her misbehavior as well.
We asked two experts, police officer Larry Salazar of the Public Information Office of the Philippine National Police, and Michele S. Alignay, M.A., a registered guidance counselor and lecturer in Family Psychology at Miriam College, to share with us the steps to take should you catch yaya doing a dastardly deed.
Step 1 If Yaya committed a crime of grave nature that resulted in serious injuries to your child, call the police immediately, especially if you need emergency assistance, such as when a person is injured or bleeding for instance. Provide the operator with the following details: your name, address, and phone number; a description of the incident and persons involved; and other relevant details. It is also best to know the contact information of the police station nearest your residence. Visit pnp.gov.ph/portal for more information.
Step 2 If it is a non-emergency situation--say your family is not in immediate danger--then find out the exact reason why yaya did what she did. Don’t let anger get the best of you. This might be difficult especially if you’ve caught yaya hurting your child. However, if you want to take the best course of action for you and your family, you need to clear your mind of all negative thoughts. Be objective. Alignay says, “This is two-pronged. First, get the facts from her and check for consistency of story. Second, note her non-verbal behavior, and attempt to understand yaya’s background, temper, values, and attitude.”
Step 3 Together with your husband, decide on an appropriate course of action. After your talk with Yaya, you will have a better perspective of what, why, and how things happened. “If the act was a big no-no for you, you may ask her to leave,” says Alignay.
Under Republic Act No. 10361, which is more popularly known as Batas Kasambahay, you may terminate your employment relationship with yaya for the following reasons:
misconduct or willful disobedience
neglect or inefficiency
fraud or breach of trust
crimes against the employer or a member of the household
She adds, “If matters are amendable by your values, then work on possible solutions so you and yaya will be on the same page together, whether about the rules in the house or caring for your kids.”
Step 4 If you let yaya stay, then you must have found something worth saving in your employer-employee relationship. However, Alignay points out, there must be some consequences to yaya’s misbehavior “to serve as parameters for her to improve on the behavior and for it not to happen again.”
Letting yaya stay also means giving her a more rigorous type of training and being more vigilant and observant of her actions. “Be patient in training her, as each person has a different learning curve, interests, and background. When training, discuss matters with her, and get her input. It might work if you ask Yaya about what she can do best, then ask about the matters that she has difficulty doing. This will be your springboard for the must-dos and expectations,” says Alignay.
Step 5 If you deem yaya’s action untenable, report it to the proper authorities. Bring her to the nearest police station, the one that has jurisdiction over the scene of the crime, says Salazar. Report the incident, and let it be recorded in the police blotter. Do not delay. The longer you wait in reporting the incident, the less clear the details will be.
Step 6 Speak to the police officers in a calm and respectful manner. There is no room for hysterics at the police station, as it will only make the situation more difficult than it already is. You will be asked to provide a thorough description of the incident as well as pertinent personal information. If your child suffered injuries, it would help to bring a medical certificate detailing its extent, says Salazar. Bring other relevant documents as well, such as identification cards, employment contract, etc.
Step 7 Once your complaint has been filed in the police blotter, an investigator will be assigned to check the merits of your case. Keep in mind that yaya has rights, too, and the incident must be investigated in an objective manner. The investigator will then advise you on your next course of action.
Step 8 Here, again, you will be asked to decide the course of action you deem appropriate. You can either file a case against yaya or come to an amicable settlement. The choice is yours.
This article was originally published in the Smart Parenting May 2014 issue. Minor edits have been made by Smartparenting.com.ph editors.