November 27, 2012
CONGRESS APPROVES BATAS KASAMBAHAY
"The long wait is over."
The Congress is ready to transmit to President Aquino the final version of the proposed "Batas Kasambahay" for his signature.
This developed as Senate President Pro Tempore Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada sponsored the joint explanation of the bicameral conference committee on the disagreeing provisions of Senate Bill 78 and House Bill 6144 on Tuesday, which opened a break to plenary deliberations on the 2013 budget.
The report, which used the House version as working draft, was also immediately ratified by the chamber.
"From the time the Labor Code took effect in 1974, it took the legislature 19 years to amend only one provision increasing the minimum wage of domestic workers with the enactment of Republic Act 7655 on August 1993. It took us another 19 years from 1993 to this day to grant more benefits and provide more protection to our kasambahay," Sen. Estrada states.
The Batas Kasambahay was originally filed by former Sen. Franciso Tatad during the 10th Congress in 1996, as a response to the recommendations of the 1st National Consultation on Child Domestic Workers in the Philippines.
Sen. Estrada, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, filed his version of the Kasambahay Bill during his first term as senator in 2004. He also steered the passage of the so-called "Magna Carta for Household Helpers" as its principal sponsor in the Senate during the 13th, 14th and current 15th Congress.
"I look forward to witnessing the moment when President Aquino finally signs this landmark legislation into law. This is an indication of the Congress' resolve and commitment to put an end to the plight of the marginalized and unsung heroes of our household," Sen. Estrada asserts.
The date upon which the President shall approve the Batas Kasambahay will be designated as "Araw ng mga Kasambahay."
The Jinggoy bill increases the minimum wage of domestic workers in National Capital Region from 800 pesos to 2,500 pesos. It also ensures decent and human treatment of domestic workers and entitles them to social security benefits. It also stipulates the rights and privileges due the domestic workers.
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