By Liza Soriano
Illustration courtesy of the Philippine News Agency
MANILA — Senator Jinggoy Estrada wants to amend Batas Kasambahay to further safeguard workers and employees, and provide safeguard measures to employers and their families from domestic workers with “criminal minds.”
“The enactment of Batas Kasambahay, a landmark legislation governing the rights and liabilities of both house helps and their employers, was a long and arduous one. It took years and several Congresses before it was finally passed into law,” Estrada said.
Estrada was the principal author and sponsor of RA 10381, otherwise known as the “Domestic Workers Act.
“While we have seen its benefits for the Kasambahays, there is a need to provide equal protection to their employers given the fact that the nature and place of their work are so intimate to the latter,” the senator added.
Estrada reintroduced provisions in his Senate Bill No. 456 placing additional duty and accountability on commercial employment agencies in order to examine RA 10361, better known as “Batas Kasambahay,” which was signed into law on January 18, 2013.
He emphasized that the PEAs (Private Employment Agencies) must make sure that the domestic helpers they hire and recommend to employers are free of criminal histories.
Estrada said, “PEAs shall have the responsibility to ensure that there is sufficient information, such as bonafide residence and family background, through actual verification and supported by relevant documents, among them clearances from barangay, police, and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and birth certificates.”