By Nila O. Argel, PIA 1, Ilocos Sur
VIGAN CITY — The new Kasambahay law, which took effect earlier this month, makes it mandatory for the employer to provide Philhealth benefit to the household worker.
Francis Canosa, officer-in-charge of Philhealth, said once employed, a househelp should be covered by Philhealth.
Under the law, employers should inform the Philhealth office the name of newly hired household service worker (HSW) 30 days from employment.
Canosa said RA 7875 otherwise known as the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) is a sustainable national health insurance program for all.
“Hopefully we will have a high percentage of compliance with the Kasambahay Law,” she said.
The law also provides that the hiring of house helpers would now be covered by an employment contract based on a model to be developed by the labor department where coverage is mandatory for those who has rendered at least one month of service.
The Philhealth coverage provides equal benefit to the employee and the employer. Once sick, an employee can have money for medical treatment. The employer is freed from giving advance salary to cover medical expenses of his employee.
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) also reminded employers of the protections and better working conditions for household workers enshrined in the kasambahay law.
Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said DOLE regional offices will provide villages with copies of the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the law.
Under the law, barangay officials, together with the Bureau of Local Employment, must record the contracts between household service workers (HSWs) and their employers before these are submitted to the Department of Interior and Local Government for consolidation and monitoring.
The kasambahay law entitles house help to wages of at least P2,500 if they are employed in Metro Manila, P2,000 in other cities and first-class municipalities, and P1,500 elsewhere in the country.#
Cayetano explained that the provision of jobs and access to education are the two primary tools to ending poverty and therefore child labor.
“The best way to protect our children is to provide better livelihood opportunities to their families. Education and employment are the true solutions to the problem of child labor,” he said.#