A bill to provide P2,000 a month compensation to stay-at-home housewives who are under the poverty threshold has been refiled in the House of Representatives.
House Bill (HB) No. 668 or An Act Providing for Compensation to Stay-at-home Housewives, filed by Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, argued that housewives also perform “valuable economic activity,” thus deserving support from the government.
“Our society considers stay-at-home mothers to be ‘doing nothing’ because they do not go out to work at a paid job like the husbands. Every work of a housewife can be considered ‘social reproductive work,’ but most could not see this,” said the bill’s explanatory note.
Therefore, Salceda argues, the state should recognize their work as “a valuable economic activity.”
“It is time to appreciate their worth and contribution in nation-building. Yes, it is time to make payment for their housework and give them wages for the work they continue to bear out at home,” Salceda further pointed out.
The Albay representative said that the bill wants to specifically target housewives who are living below the poverty threshold, and without a part-time nor a home-based work, and those with at least a child aged 12 or below.
"Some studies show that if we quantify the work of stay-at-home women, it approximates the work of kasambahay (maid), thus housewives also deserve to get paid at least what a kasambahay earns," he said.
Once passed into law, the government will make use of the database of the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD) National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction to identify the program’s initial beneficiaries.
“It is for these foregoing premises that the approval of this bill is earnestly sought,” said Salceda.
This is not the first time the bill was filed in Congress. During the 17th Congress, Salceda also filed a similar bill.
Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.
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