Employers urged to register household workers

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) regional office here urged employers on Wednesday to register household workers under their employment at the kasambahay desk.

In an interview, DOLE Eastern Visayas director Yahya Centi said it is under their watch to address the issues and concerns of kasambahay or household workers regarding benefits and wages but it is the duty of employer to sign them up at the Registry of Domestic Workers in their village.

We are looking at how we will be able to organize kasambahay because the law says they should be given access not only to employment, not only to skills development but also livelihood assistance from DOLE and other government offices, Centi said.

Under the Domestic Workers Act the Department of the Interior and Local Government, in coordination with DOLE, is mandated to formulate the registration system at the village level.

Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB) lawyer Marie Ronette Salve Barreda said both agencies have been working closely because for the past years only household workers in the region are documented.

Although we understand the plight of DILG in gathering the data since domestic workers are nomadic, they would stay in a few weeks or months then transfer to another employer, she said.

Last year, Centi said Eastern Visayas made history with the creation of the Kasambahay Association in Tacloban City, the first in the region.

The elected president of the association automatically seats as a member of the Regional Industrial Tripartite Peace Council, he added.

We were able to get these people in the circle and see their rights as workers. The issues and concerns affecting them as kasambahays will now be brought to the council which I chaired, Centi said.

The DOLE said it will be doing rounds of assemblies with household workers in villages where they will be informed of their rights provided under the Kasambahay Law and of the updated monthly minimum wage.

Effective on January 1, domestic workers in Eastern Visayas are now entitled to receive PHP4,500 for those in cities and first-class towns and PHP4,000 in other towns with lower-income class categories.

Source: Philippines News agency

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