By Macon Araneta i FilAm Star Correspondent

Former Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada acknowledged the contribution of millions of domestic workers to the country’s economy as the nation observed the Araw ng Kasambahay.

“Today’s celebration of Araw ng mga Kasambahay is a rare moment accorded to the often overlooked and undervalued sector of our society. In this special day, we honor their dedicated service,” said Estrada.

Photo: Former Sen. Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada (senate.gov.ph)

Hs also called on the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to spread the salient provisions of Batas Kasambahay, including the prescribed minimum wage rates, their rights and privileges, and proper employment terms and conditions due them.

Batas Kasambahay, or Republic Act 10361, which is principally authored and sponsored by Estrada, is a landmark labor legislation which institutes policies for the decent and humane treatment, protection against abuse, and promotion of welfare of household service workers including yaya, general househelp, cook, gardener, and laundry person.  It was signed into law by President Aquino on January 18, 2013.

RA 10361 prescribes the minimum wage of domestic workers at PHP 2,500 in the National Capital Region (NCR), PHP 2,000 in chartered cities and first class municipalities, and PHP 1,500 for other municipalities. They are also entitled to receive 13th month pay.

The domestic workers shall also be covered by the Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth and PAG-IBIG.

It also states that household workers are entitled to a daily rest period of eight hours a day, one day off per week, and (for those who have rendered at least 1 year of service) 5 days annual service incentive leave with pay.

Domestic workers’ rights include protection against physical violence, harassment, and any kind of abuse; freedom from employer’s interference in wage disposal; provision of adequate meals, humane sleeping arrangement and medical attendance; right to privacy; right to access to outside communication; and right to access to education and training.

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