Are You Ready for the Kasambahay Law?

Just called to check on my mother and one of the things I made sure I mention is the newly approved law — Republic Act No. 10361 or popularly known as the Kasambahay Law. Since we left home years ago to live our own lives, our parents, specifically our mother, got people to help around. Our house also became the home of anyone whom my mother thought needs shelter while at the same time could extend hands in doing the daily chores. Whether they’re related to us by consanguinity or just perfect strangers, my mother accommodated them. It’s the trait Ithink I would never have as I have trust issues with maids — thanks but no thanks to the different news about househelpers who sooner or later turned out to be more of a liability to their masters or employers.

Employers, yes that’s the more appropriate word now that the Kasambahay bill became a law on January 18, 2013. While that technically eliminates the seemingly discriminating (or oppressive) master-servant term, this law which is, to quote its title, an act instituting policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers, obligates the employers to give their househelpers minimum wage and social benefits provided under existing laws such as Philhealth, Social Security System (SSS), and Pag-Ibig fund. Admittedly, the law that I once perceived as just and humane, is now something I should be worried of due to several reasons which the other ’employers’ around the nation also share based on what I have heard from TV Patrol.

Firstly, all the social benefits would have to be paid regularly by the employer. And the fact that the government institutions wherein payments are to be made aren’t located in one place is a problem by itself. I can’t imagine my mother, now in her 60s, going from one place to another, not to mention endure long lines, just to remit the social benefits of her househelpers.

Next item to consider is the stipulation that the househelpers should be given basic education. Even though my mother has been good enough to offer this to one of her helpers ahead of the Kasambahay Law, this still leaves the question: what if everyone goes out to study? Doesn’t this defeat the very purpose why one got help because there’s a need to have someone in the house do the chores during most times of the day?

But not all aspect of this law are questionable. Things such as the need to have decent sleeping quarters and providing basic necessities are no-brainers and I can assure that whoever stays in my parents house will have these.

The implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the Kasambahay Law is still not out so I guess I have to wait before I call my mother again to remind her that she follows it as the last thing I’d like to hear is that there’s a picket line outside our small house demanding for an increase in wage and benefits. Ti abi.

***

There was once a time when the maids demand just to have access to TV. Now, the WI-FI is starting to become a must have.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Wifey’s out. Just me and our master at home. Master, aka Marcus, still sleeping. I’m waiting for orders.)

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Author: crisn

I'm Cris Nacionales from the Philippines.

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