Legarda: 3.4M Kasambahays to Benefit from Domestic Workers Convention

September 11, 2013

Senator Loren Legarda today said that more Filipino domestic workers will be provided with better compensation and greater protection from abuses as the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189, or the Domestic Workers Convention, has entered into force early this month.

Legarda, sponsor of Senate Resolution 816 that pushed for the Senate’s concurrence in the ratification of the ILO Convention 189 during the 15th Congress, said that at least 1.9 million Filipino domestic workers in the country and at least 1.5 million others abroad will benefit from the Convention, which primarily ensures that domestic workers are treated as legitimate workers, not slaves, and are accorded decent working conditions, just compensation and sufficient benefits.

“We are making headway in championing the causes of domestic workers as both the Kasambahay Law and the ILO Convention 189 are now being enforced. I hope that we will be able to effectively implement these policies,” said Legarda, co-author and co-sponsor of Republic Act No. 10361 or the Kasambahay Law.

“The Convention 189 will strengthen our resolve and leverage in negotiating for stronger protection and better terms and conditions of employment of Filipino domestic workers,” she added.

The Senator explained that the Convention also directs ratifying states to consider entering into bilateral, regional or multilateral agreements to prevent abuses and fraudulent practices in recruitment, placement, and employment of domestic workers. The Department of Foreign Affairs can cite this Convention in initiating bilateral labor talks with fellow ILO members.

Like the Kasambahay Law, the ILO Convention 189 provides that all domestic workers should be informed of the terms and conditions of their employment, including salary, time of work and rest, provision of food and shelter, and vacation.

“The Convention sets international standards that would make sure domestic workers enjoy effective protection against abuse and other forms of violence. We hope that through the faithful implementation of this treaty, as well as of the Kasambahay Law, we can give due recognition to our domestic workers, our household heroes, not as invisible hands but as legitimate workers, equipped with the rights and benefits they truly deserve,” Legarda concluded.