Household service workers, also called kasambahay, are knowing and understanding their rights and privileges three months after Republic Act 10361, or Batas Kasambahay took effect.
Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz said this yesterday as she reported that the National Conciliation and Mediation Board in the National Capital Region (NCMB-NCR) has settled the requests for assistance of seven kasambahay which resulted to the payment of their monetary claims amounting to P97,950.
“Under RA 10361, a kasambahay is guaranteed his/her human dignity and entitled to full respect of his/her human rights. Our role at the DOLE is to see to it that it is effectively implemented and the mechanisms for settlement of disputes are operational,” said Baldoz.
NCMB-NCR reported to Baldoz that seven out of 24 requests for assistance by kasambahay were settled through the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) mechanism, with monetary benefits paid ranging from P1,000 to P50,000.
One of the seven, Divina L. Ave, a plantsadora and labandera, filed a request for assitance on 29 May 2013 against his employer Divina C. Titan, for alleged underpayment of salaries, violation of labor standards, and non-payment of social welfare benefits. A series of conferences were held which led to the settlement of the complaint on 25 June 2013, in the amount of P50,000. Conciliator –Mediator Angelita S. Narvaez facilitated the settlement.
Another kasambahay, Mary Darilag Calanuga, , filed a request for assistance against her employer Teresita Ong for alleged illegal dismissal and non-payment of overtime pay, service incentive leave, holiday pay, and social welfare benefits. After several conferences which was facilitated by Director Aglibut, Calanuga filed a quitclaim and received P20,850 as full settlement of her claims.
Maria Cleofe Castillo, filed a request for assistance against her employer Mercedita Brinas on 5 August 2013, for alleged non-payment of overtime pay and social welfare benefits. During the initial conference on 12 August 2013, the parties presented a proof of settlement in the amount of P8,000. Conciliator-Mediator Cynthia C. Foncarda facilitated the settlement.
On 28 January 2013, Romeo Del Prado filed a request for assistance for alleged illegal dismissal and non-payment of social welfare benefits. On 12 February 2013, or after two conferences, the parties agreed to settle their dispute. Del Prado received P12,000 as full settlement of his claims. Supervising Labor and Employment Officer Nina C. Lorena facilitated the settlement.
Kasambahay Josephine Aranding, filed a request for assistance on 26 April 2013 for alleged unjust termination, non-payment of overtime pay, and no-rest day. Three conferences were held which led to the settlement of the complaint on 10 May 2013, in the amount of P4,000. Con-Med Estelita C. Bautista facilitated the settlement.
On 31 January 2013, Mervin Besorio, a family driver, filed a request for assistance against his employer, Jongmun Chu, of Barangay of San Lorenzo Village, Makati City. During the initial conference on 11 February 2013, the parties mutually agreed to the amount of P 2,100 as complainant’s financial assistance. Con-Med Edgar G. Aquino facilitated the settlement.
Joseph Intal, a house painter, filed a RFA/SEnA on 8 July 2013 for alleged non-payment of salary from June 23 to 29, 2013 and non-payment of overtime pay. During the initial meeting on 10 July 2013, his employer paid him P1,000 as full settlement of his claims. Director Aglibut facilitated the settlement.
Baldoz emphasized the significance of RA 10361 as it underscores the need to afford special protection to domestic workers or kasambahay, the sector of workers, which in turn, affords household employers, who are workers themselves, the opportunity to focus on work elsewhere for their livelihood.
The Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 10361 stipulates a mechanism for settlement and disposition of labor-related disputes. Section 1 of Rule XI states that all labor-related disputes shall be filed before the DOLE Field/Provincial/Regional Offices having jurisdiction over the workplace and shall go through the 30-day mandatory conciliation.
SEnA, an alternative dispute settlement mode, is a non-litigious, less expensive and expeditious mechanism which assists contending parties towards reaching their own mutually-acceptable settlement to the labor dispute.
This program, Baldoz explained, provides workers speedy, impartial, inexpensive, and accessible settlement for all labor issues or conflicts to prevent these issues or conflicts from ripening into full-blown disputes.