Cebu City’s kasambahay to get P3K
Household service workers in Cebu City and in other parts of Central Visayas can now expect a P1,000 increase of their monthly minimum rate.
Department of Labor and Employment in Central Visayas (DOLE-7) regional director Exequiel Sarcauga, who also sits as chairman of the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB-7), said the minimum monthly salary rate for the Cebu City–based household workers, called katabang in Cebuano-speaking areas or kasambahay in Tagalog, has been raised from P2,000 to P3,000.
Household service workers within the region but outside of Cebu City will now get a minimum monthly salary of P2,500 from P1,500, Sarcauga added.
“Nagpasabot nga wala nay kasambahay sa Cebu City nga magsweldo og ubos sa P3,000; wala na’y magsweldo og ubos sa P2,500 sa mga dapit outside Cebu City,” Sarcauga said.
(The RTWPB-7 members have agreed that no kasambahay in Cebu City will get a monthly salary lower than P3000 and that those outside of Cebu City shall get P2,500.)
Sarcauga said the wage board will decide on Monday, Feb. 13, when the new wage level will take effect.
For household service workers already receiving P3,000 or more a month, Sarcauga said it is up to the employers to decide if they will give an increase to their workers.
Sarcauga, however, said that employers who are giving higher salary rates could not also lower the salary of their household workers to P3,000 because they can be charged for diminution of benefits.
The new rate is the first increase granted by the RTWPB to domestic workers after the enactment of the Republic Act 10361 Batas Kasambahay or Domestic Workers Act in 2013.
Sarcauga said the RTWPB in the different regions are mandated to review and grant an increase of the basic salary of the kasambahay based from the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the law.
Sarcauga said the IRR did not specify when the wage board must review and grant an increase, but the board has the discretion to evaluate and decide the matter whenever they feel it is appropriate or practical time to do so.
In the case of RTWPB-7, “now (is) the practical time to grant an increase of the minimum salary rate for the household service workers,” he added.
Sarcauga said they decided on a wage hike for house helps to entice people to work as katabang.
“Nihit na kaayo na sila karon (It’s difficult to find a household service worker now). Hopefully with that amount, daghan na ang madasig sa pagtrabaho (many will be encouraged to work as one),” Sarcauga said.
Sarcauga also reminded the employers that they must also fulfill the other provisions of the law, including the giving of social service and health benefits to their household workers.
Sarcauga said they will soon conduct advocacy programs, maybe through the radio, to inform the household service workers of their rights and benefits.
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