Nograles hails signing of Caregivers’ welfare act

THE chair of the House of Representatives’ labor and employment committee hailed Pres. Ferdinand Marcos, Jr.’s signing of a law that aims to uphold the rights and welfare of domestic caregivers.

“With the signing of the Caregivers’ Welfare Act, our government signals that it is intent on protecting the rights and welfare of a sector that to this day suffers abuse and bad working conditions,” Rizal 4th District Rep. Fidel Nograles said.

The president signed Republic Act No. 11965, “An Act Institutionalizing Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Caregivers in the Practice of their Occupation,” on Nov. 23, with Malacañang announcing it on Friday, Dec. 1.

Nograles expressed hope that with the law’s enactment, caregivers in the country would “strongly consider practicing their profession in the Philippines instead of going abroad.”

“Sinusubukan po natin na ayusin ang working environment para sa inyo, so that you will consider practicing here as a viable option at hindi lang stepping stone,” the lawmaker said.

R.A. No. 11965 covers caregivers working in private homes, nursing or care facilities, and other residential settings in the country. It also covers caregivers hired either by a direct employer, or placed through a Public Employment Services Office (PESO) or Private Employment Agency (PEA).

The law mandates that employment contracts must specify a domestic caregiver’s working hours, compensation, authorized deductions, rest days, and benefits, among other facets of employment.

Employers are also required to pay their caregivers every two weeks or twice a month, at intervals not exceeding 16 days. Caregivers are also entitled to overtime pay should their work exceed eight hours a day, as well as night shift differential, and 13th month pay if they have rendered at least a month of service.

A paid annual service incentive leave of five days would also be given to caregivers employed for at least a year, along with other leave benefits provided by existing laws.

Employers are also mandated to provide their caregivers basic necessities. Live-in arrangements for caregivers require the provision of three adequate meals a day that take into consideration a caregiver’s religious beliefs and cultural practices, and humane sleeping conditions that respect the caregiver’s privacy.

The solon urged continued dialogue between the government and industry stakeholders to ensure the law’s proper implementation.

“We want this law to succeed, so I hope we continue engaging employers and caregivers in dialogue so we can regularly fine-tune it and cover possible gaps in implementation,” he said. 

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