A lawmaker has filed two separate that would further strengthen the Kasambahay law by providing additional benefits to house helps and granting tax incentive to employers who would allow their maids to finish their education or undergo skills training.
Senator Maria Lourdes Nancy Binay, in filing Senate Bill No. 2009, or the “Discount Benefits of Domestic Workers Act of 2013,” wants medical and dental institutions to provide 20 percent discounts on any sale of goods and services to all registered domestic workers including their immediate kin.
Under SB No. 2009, qualified domestic workers who avail of discounted medical and dental goods or services are entitled to get either the provided 20 percent discount or the establishment’s offered discount depending on which is more favorable to house helps.
Binay expressed belief that by providing additional benefits to domestic workers, the government does not only support their advancement and welfare but also empower them by elevating their condition of living.
“With all their help and care for us, it is only fitting that we also give importance to their needs like medical care and education,” Binay added.
The neophyte senator also filed SB 2005 that seeks to provide tax incentives to employers who will allow their house helps pursue their studies or undergo training provided that the employer will shoulder their tuition and other related expenses.
Under Section 16 of the implementing rules and regulation (IRR) of Republic Act 10361 Kasambahay or domestic workers shall be afforded the opportunity to finish basic education, which shall consist of elementary and secondary education.
According to Binay the proposed measure aims to encourage employers to comply with the law by providing them incentives.
“We not only empower our kasambahays, we also reward homeowners. I believe that this arrangement is most beneficial for the family and will ultimately strengthen our country’s basic family system,” she said.
Under SB No. 2005 employers are entitled to a tax deduction of up to P20,000 from his or her gross income for all expenses incurred for the education and training of their employed domestic worker.
These expenses may include basic tuition fees, transportation expenses, books and other supplies and other related costs.
It has been almost a year since President Benigno Aquino 3rd signed RA 10361 or the Batas Kasambahay that ensures the protection and welfare of house helps in the country.
Under the law domestic helpers will be entitled to a monthly minimum wage of P2,500 for Metro Manila, P2,000 for cities and 1st class municipalities and P1,500 for other municipalities; a daily rest period of 8 total hours, weekly rest period of 24 uninterrupted hours, five days annual service incentive leave with pay and 13th month pay.
They are also entitled to social welfare benefits such as Social Security System (SSS), PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig benefits. JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA