The Senate recently approved the third and last reading of Senate Bill No. 78 for the increase of the minimum wage of house helpers, or “kasambahays.” The said bill will provide additional benefits for helpers, once signed into the constitution by President Noynoy Aquino.
Introduced by Senator Jinggoy Estrada states that the minimum wage should be a minimum of P2,500 for house helpers in Metro Manila, a minimum of P2,000 for helpers in chartered cities and first-class municipalities and a minimum of P1,500 for those helpers employed in third-class municipalities.
Employers are required to pay for their house helpers’ SSS (Social Security System), Philippine Health Insurance Commission (Philhealth), Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG) and Employees’ Compensation Commission (ECC) benefits.
To guarantee that these are fulfilled, the Kasambahay Bill requires a contract between the employer and employee in a language intelligible to both. The contract should not exceed two years, as well as indicate the working hours and rest days for the household helpers.
"All human beings, no matter their station in life, should be accorded full dignity and guaranteed full respect for human rights," said Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile. "Most house helpers endure abuse in the hands of their employers. This bill not only ensures the rights of our helpers, but will also protect them from being maltreated."