DOLE warns employing minors as ‘kasambahay’ is illegal
Marje Pelayo • December 3, 2020 • 228
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has reminded households that it is unlawful to employ minors as domestic workers.
In a news release Thursday (December 3), Director Karina Perida-Trayvilla of DOLE’s Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) said Republic Act No. 10361 or the Kasambahay Law strictly prohibits employing minors or those who are below 15 years old, as domestic household workers.
This, she said, is considered a clear form of child labor and exploitation.
The announcement is in line with the government’s campaign to eliminate the worst forms of child labor.
According to the October 2019 survey of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), there are 1,400,132 domestic household workers in the country. This number includes 4% or more than 40,000 child domestic workers aged 15 to 18, and close to 1% or about 5,000 who are below 15 years old.
Employers who are proven guilty of employing minors as kasambahay can be penalized with a fine ranging from P10,000 to P40,000.
“These penalties are on top of the civil and criminal charges that can be filed against the employers under the R.A. 9231 or the act on the elimination of the worst forms of child labor,” Trayvilla noted.
MANILA, Philippines — Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in countries with a travel ban from the government are exempted and will be allowed to enter the Philippines, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
In a press conference on Tuesday (December 29), Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said President Rodrigo Duterte wants OFWs to be able to return to their families.
Bello said returning OFWs would need to undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Some 60,000 to 100,000 OFWs are expected to return in the next two weeks, he added.
Duterte, on Monday (December 28), approved the imposition of travel ban on countries with confirmed reports of the new strain of COVID-19. The travel ban will take effect on December 30 at 12:01 a.m. until January 15. AAC
The Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) cash-for-work program has provided emergency employment to close to one million workers.
As of December 28 under the Tulong Panghanapbuhay sa Ating Disadvantaged/Displaced Workers (TUPAD) program, 939,209 informal sector workers hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic and those affected by the successive typhoons last month, received assistance.
More than P4.5 billion in wages in just close to two months was provided by the program to the informal sector workers.
Beneficiaries of the program are paid for work done for a minimum of 10 days to a maximum of 16 days based on the threshold requirements in the area.
Bureau of Workers with Special Concern (BWSC) director Ma. Karina Perida-Trayvilla said that 797,222 beneficiaries had been paid while 141,989 have ongoing jobs.
Trayvilla said TUPAD may reach more than one million beneficiaries with more funds still available from the P6-billion appropriation under the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act (Bayanihan 2).
The National Capital Region topped the regions with the biggest TUPAD fund allocations with P923.9 million. It was followed by CALABARZON with P593.2 million, and Central Luzon with P587.1 million. –AAC
MANILA, Philippines — Health workers who wish to work abroad may now begin processing their documents after the lifting of the deployment ban that was imposed early this year due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said about 90% to 95% of health workers going abroad are nurses while the remaining percentage normally are doctors, dieticians, or some anaesthesiologists.
But the official noted that only 5,000 health care workers will be allowed to leave each year.
The said number only covers first new applicants and is apart from those under the Balik-Manggagawa program or those who have existing contracts abroad but are on vacation in the Philippines.
Bello explained that there is a chance that the deployment cap may increase depending on the recommendation from the Department of Health (DOH) in consideration to the health care system in the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
He noted that before the pandemic started, about 12,000 to 16,000 health workers left the country each year for better employment abroad.
“Ayaw lang natin na mangyari na walang limit ang dami ng lalabas. Pagdating ng panahon lumala itong pandemya at wala tayong mga nurses tayo naman ang kawawa (We cannot just allow that there is no limit in the number of departures. In case the pandemic situation in the country worsens and we don’t have enough nurses, we would suffer),” Bello said.
Meanwhile, Bello confirmed that DOLE is now pushing for a salary increase for nurses in the private sector to make it equal to that of nurses in the government sector which is at P30,000 for an entry level.
Currently, the highest salary that a nurse in the private firm receives is about P18,000 a month that’s why Bello urges private hospitals to also take into consideration the welfare of their respective health workers.
“May mga nurses pa na sa halip na sila ang sinuswelduhan sila pa ang nagbabayad (There are nurses who, instead of receiving a salary, are the ones shelling out money) under the guise of training fee,” he said.
The official noted that there is now a bill filed in Congress that seeks a salary increase for nurses in the private sector. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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