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Sunday, December 3, 2023

‘Enroll more kasambahays in basic services’

Senator Raffy Tulfo said of the 1.4 million registered domestic workers, only 6% (84,190) are enrolled in SSS, 5% (74, 858) are registered in PhilHealth, and only 3.4% or 51, 579 are enrolled in Pag-IBIG.

He said this was based on a 2019 joint survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Because of this, he berated SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-IBIG over over the “very low” kasambahay coverage compliance.

Tulfo, Vice Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Labor, stressed that these agencies are not doing enough to ensure that employers in the country have registered and have been paying the SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG  contributions of their “kasambahays.”

He was also upset due to the failure of barangays to implement the registration system for kasambahays, knowing that some employers are too busy to enroll their house help for said coverage or deliberately avoid doing so to avoid payments.

Under  the “Domestic Workers Act” or “Batas Kasambahay,” he noted that every employer shall register a house help under his/her employment in the barangay where his/her residence is located.

The Punong Barangay shall be responsible for the Registry of kasambahay within his/her jurisdiction.

Tulfo questioned why barangay officials managed to be very active on house-to-house campaigns during elections period but were unable to go door-to-door  to survey households with kasambahays and ensure implementation of Batas Kasambahay.

Moreover, Tulfo also recommended removing the qualified theft punishment for kasambahays, which is being used by employers to pin down house helps seeking better treatment or complaining about work-related benefits.

In some cases, Tulfo said employers would get back at their kasambahays and avoid giving them proper treatment as mandated by the law by planting evidence pointing to a crime they did not commit, like stealing.

He lamented tha employers would later report it to the police to send innocent and voiceless kasambahays to jail.

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