DOLE to hold online consultation on rules regarding househelp

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MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment is to conduct an online public consultation for the crafting of implementing rules and regulations concerning Republic Act 10361, or the Kasambahay Law.

“This is part of our strategy to raise the level of public knowledge of the salient provisions of the law, which aims to provide adequate welfare and social protection to our Filipino household service workers,” said Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz.

She directed the Labor Communications Office, in cooperation with the DOLE’s Bureau of Working Conditions and the Planning Service, to post on the DOLE official website, www.dole.gov.ph, the government’s draft of the implementing rules and regulations, or IRR.

The Batas Kasambahay section of the DOLE’s website features a simplified Questions and Answers, both in English and Tagalog, to ensure that public awareness of the law regarding the hiring and treatment of household workers.

The section even provides a “freedom wall” where the public can leave their queries, comments, and other significant suggestions and inputs regarding the IRR draft.

“We have decided to upload the draft IRR in the Internet to get as many comments as possible, because even some DOLE officials and employees and members of the media have raised questions on the Batas Kasambahay which need to be addressed and clarified,” the labor chief explained.

“The online posting of the IRR on the Batas Kasambahay will provide the general public a venue to study the IRR and make comments or suggestions on its final version. It will give Filipino netizens a channel to express their views on the landmark document after years of legislative struggle,” she added.

Baldoz said the DOLE’s online solicitation of comments regarding the IRR was on top of nationwide face-to-face, group consultations with all relevant stakeholders scheduled for the whole month of April.

“We want the public and our partners to get involved in shaping the implementing rules of this social legislation. By doing so, we hope to solicit not only valuable inputs, but also support, which will make the law’s implementation effective and smooth,” she said.

President Benigno Aquino III signed the Kasambahay Law, which is expected to benefit 2.9 million Filipino domestic helpers, last January 18.

It mandates the provision of a comprehensive package of benefits to Filipino household service workers, including their entitlement to 13th month pay; service incentive leaves; and social welfare benefits such as SSS, PAG-IBIG, and PhilHealth.

The law fulfills the country’s obligation to enact such national legislation in compliance with the International Labor Organization’s Convention 189, which sets new international standards for the protection of household helpers.

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