Should household helpers get 13th month pay?

By Marjorie Gorospe

QUEZON CITY, METRO MANILA—A lawmaker is pushing for the 13th month pay of qualified household helpers or workers.

Authored by Association of Laborers and Employees (ALE) Party-list Representative Catalina Cabrera Bagasina, the House Bill 4753, or “Kasambahay (Househelp) Christmas Bonus Act of 2010”, aims to improve the plight of household helpers, especially during Christmas season.

The proposed law prescribes that the 13th month pay be given no later than December 24.

Bagasina noted that this particular sector has no labor protection and that they do not enjoy minimum wage, overtime pay, medical benefits and leaves compared to other workers.

Pinky de la Cruz, a household helper in Quezon City, says that if this law pushes through, it would be a big help for her and her family.

“If we have 13th month pay, then I wouldn’t have to worry much about sending extra money for my family in the province,” says De la Cruz who hails from Quezon province and has been working as a household helper in the city for two years now.

Mae Magwili, a parent who has employed the services of a nanny for five years now, is also in favor of this proposed law.

“In our family, it has been a tradition to give quarterly bonus for our helpers. If they stay with us for more than three years, we even let them go to school and finance their studies because we know that they have been sacrificing a lot for their family and for us,” she says.

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