Kasambahay Bill is now a Law

Kasambahay Bill is 2-way after all

So, I’ve heard that the Kasambahay bill has now been made into a law.

Many people have raised protests over the passing of the bill, seeing it as one-sided in favor of the helper (kasambahay). The truth is, there have been reports of abusive employers; you see it reported once in a while on the news. But the number of abusive helpers is bigger, as far as I have experienced.

 

Just recently, a post has been circulating about a maid who pushed her employer down the stairs and smashed her head bloody with a wine bottle. Had the victim not been quick to run back up to her room, shut the door and call out for help from the window, she could’ve been killed.

We’ve had our own string of maids we wish we’ve never met.  The helpers nowadays are of a totally different breed from the ones I grew up with.

Maids then & now

Maids in the 80’s were kind and efficient and have the initiative to do their tasks without any reminder from their employers.

They’re willing to do all the house chores — cleaning, cooking, laundry, look after the kids, do errands, etc. They talked politely and loved the kids they were hired to take care of. They eat anything you serve them and are fiercely loyal.

Our nanny who was with us for more than 20 years would willingly stand up and fight anyone who’d say anything bad about any of us.

Nowadays, maids are unreasonably choosy. Many of the ones who came to us and left abruptly were giving us the option of either taking care of the kids or do the chores. They won’t do both.

One helper quit as soon as she saw that she didn’t have her own TV set in her room.

With the exception of our former gem of helpers, Cathy,  Sheila and Marilyn, every single one of the other maids had to be told of their basic duties. Many of them were rude and impolite. They had food preferences that we had to adjust to and there’s one who was so careless, she had broken many of our stuff, ripped a lot of our clothes, created trouble with neighbors and spoke ill of us to the nannies of our children’s friends.

Maids now don’t know how to apologize and they cry buckets and threaten you that they will pack up and leave when you reprimand them.  With that kind of history on maids, I was easily taken aback by the insistence of the senators to push the signing of the bill into a law.

Here’s where media failed us.

It’s not all that bad

Seriously, if you listened to or read how they relayed about the bill,it really sounded as if the employers were really getting the ugly side of the deal.

If you’re the type whose salary is at minimum, you’d really think that it’s unfair for you. Not only will you be spending half your money paying the costs of maintaining a maid, you’ll also be losing your rest hours because you’ll have to give them theirs.

But I looked over the bill and realized, that’s not really the case. It does stipulate the rights of the employers, as well.  Let me give you an example:

A few employer protection

The Kasambahay law requires the employer to not only pay the wages, but to also pay for government benefits such as Philhealth, SSS and PAG-IBIG. Food and lodging is provided at no cost and medical expenses are to be shouldered by the employer.

In protection of the employer, every helper must provide the following documents: NBI clearance, medical certificate and duly authenticated NSO copy of the birth certificate.  None was written about the employer paying for all these documents. If a maid wishes to work, she must invest on these documents.

Another right given to the employer is the right to fire the helper who is negligent of his/her duties and have breached the trust of his/her employers. This means that if the helper spoke against your family or revealed private information to others, they may be held liable.  They cannot talk against you.

It’s not easy to be a maid

You know, the leaves, the 13th month pay, the paid 5-day vacation leaves and the right to 8-hours sleep everyday, if the helper does her duties well and keeps her attitude in check, I think she deserves to receive those benefits and more. She earned it.

But maids have to know their part too

So, it’s really not that bad. The challenge now is to find a helper who understands that the Kasambahay Law works 2-ways. It’s not only about what she can demand, it’s also about what she should be delivering.

Here are the basics of the Kasambahay Bill according to Iamjammed.com:

Kasambahay Bill ABCs

RA 10361 sets a standard salary and other social protection for domestic workers.

Here are some of the important points of the law:

  1. Minimum wage: Employers shall follow the standardized pay set by the law.  The minimum wage for domestic workers is set at
    • P2,500 a month in the National Capital Region;
    • P2,000 a month in chartered cities and first class municipalities;
    • P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities.
  2. Benefits:
    • A kasambahay is also entitled of benefits such as bonuses, health and insurance benefits and leave.  She/He shall receive a 13th Month Pay.
    • A kasambahay is also entitled of social government-mandated benefits like enrollment to the Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig Fund, with premium payments shouldered by employers if the helpers receive a monthly salary below P5,000.
    • A kasambahay is also entitled of leave benefits such as an at least five days vacation leave with pay and 7 days paternal leave (for males).
    • A kasambahay is also entitled of a daily rest period of at least 8 hours and a weekly rest period of at least 24 consecutive hours (1 day) after six consecutive normal work days.

For me though, I think it’s best you get yourself well-versed with the law itself. You can find it here: http://www.congress.gov.ph/download/basic_15/HB01140.pdf

It’s high time Filipinos start educating ourselves with the laws of this country. Getting familiar with them and understanding them. It is our duty and they are never insignificant.

I just hope that the Kasambahay bill will really serve the purpose for which it has been originally penned, especially now that it’s been made official.

We’ll see…

Here’s an update! A better way to understand the terms of the Kasambahay bill is through this infographic released by ABS CBN:

Kasambahay law

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8 Comments

  1. How if the employer have salary minimum wage, provide
    to pay sss and pag-ibig. Why should had bracket the
    employer salary…its unfair because the cause of demand is very high, then the salary not increase.

    1. Hi Mike. I understand where you’re coming from as I myself is in that position, with 3 kids who have needs we need to meet. And I’ve been quite traumatized with the last maid, I have not hired a maid in 3 years.

      SSS and Pag-ibig will cost you around Php500-700 and to people like us, that’s a very big amount.

      But it will help you, too. When the helper has needs, she can go to SSS and loan from there instead of borrowing from you. And when she gets sick, that’s thousands off her medical bill. Because if she gets sick while working for you, you need to pay for her hospitalization. Not just because it’s the law but because it’s the right thing to do.

      We also have to see maids as employees just as we see ourselves under our companies. Perhaps you should consider finding a company that will value you, your services and your skills a bit more? Not because you have to adjust to a maid, but because you deserve that too.

      This law may not make sense right now because maids nowadays are such big headaches…but eventually, if we are faithful to this law, perhaps it will help them realize little by little that it is a job, that they have responsibilities to fulfill, that they need to work hard for it and they will learn once again the value of commitment. Many maids have lost jobs because of this law. Hopefully that sends the message that a job is valuable and that it is hard-earned.

      Thank you for taking time to read my blog. 🙂

      1. Hi May,

        Actually I am not completely in favor of the kasambahay law. There are more people who are just middle-wage earners compared to rich people who employ maids. I agree with when you said that the SSS and Pag-ibig is a big amount for us. For starters, it’s like we are compared to business owners. However, unlike business owners, salaries, wages and SSS/ Pag-ibig contributions are deducted from their revenue as part of their expenses. If what I think is correct, the net income will become the basis of the tax. Us, on the other hand, most of us are not business owners… and we don’t employ maids because of a business. Most of us who employ kasambahays are just employees as well. My point is, we don’t get to deduct the salary and SSS/ Pag-ibig benefits from our salary before the tax computation is applied. That law is totally unfair and biased in favor of the kasambahay. I agree that the kasambahay rights to protect from physical abuse should be maintained. However, the payment of SSS/ Pag-ibig benefits? Christmas bonuses?

        My friend has a very good suggestion – why didn’t the law makers think of applying the law based on the net income of the employer who is just a staff working for another employer.

        Bottom line, we don’t employ maids because we run a business. We don’t get to deduct the kasambahay’s salary and benefits too from our net salary so as to lower the tax just like how tax is computed to net income of business owners.

        Please let me hear your thoughts! Thanks and God bless!

  2. Hello Paolo.

    Thank you for taking time to read and comment.

    You’re right , we don’t get to deduct this before our taxes are computed and our lawmakers need to rethink that part and consider your friend’s suggestion to compute the rates according to our salaries.

    The 13th month pay was a big blow to me, as well, to be honest with you; my friend’s suggestion was for me to save up for it months before Christmas. This is what we’ll do.

    I didn’t exactly vote for the people who pushed for this bill and this law is a bit heavy on our family. But after going back and forth on it, I’ve decided to give our lawmakers a chance to prove this law effective. What I am doing now is trying to see the good side of this law.

    I want to do my part first and follow it, see where it leads.

    We are not business owners, yes, but it doesn’t change the fact that our helpers are our employees.

    What I’m saying here is that I want to do right by my helper whether or not the government is doing right by me.

    Thanks again for taking time to comment. God bless. 🙂

  3. It’s a bit too heavy considering we are not all high-income earners. The government wants our helpers to benefit but as a cost to us who employ them. I’m willing to shoulder this, though, if the maid is worth it. Hopefully, this will also teach these maids a lesson to give their work the best. That it’s not so easy anymore to find employers who are willing to employ them at the drop of a hat. Maids are so choosy these days because they think that they can just pick and choose their employers. It’s good that we can no require these helpers to submit their documents to us. I’m with you on this, May. Let’s obey the law and see what happens.

  4. After how many months frm the date of employment of the kasambahay will the employer start to pay for the sss & philhealth of the kasambahay?

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