'Kasambahay bill' already signed into law — Palace

Without much fanfare, President Benigno Aquino III signed into law last week the “kasambahay bill,” which is expected to provide more benefits—including an increase in minimum wage—for some two and a half million domestic helpers in the country. “We are pleased to confirm that President Aquino signed Republic Act 10361 or 'An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers' last January 18,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said in an e-mail to reporters Wednesday. The new law—which sets minimum wage of domestic helpers in the country to P2,500 a month for those employed in the National Capital Region; P2,000 a month for those employed in chartered cities and first class municipalities; and P1,500 a month for those employed in other municipalities—will take effect 15 days after its publication in the print version of the Official Gazette or a newspaper of general circulation. In addition to the minimum wage, under the new law, employers are also required to pay the domestic helpers in cash and to provide them with payslips. RA 10361 also requires the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Boards to review and adjust the minimum wage rates annually, and outlines fines that will be slapped on employers who violate it. — Patricia Denise Chiu/KBK, GMA News