By Jelly Musico Senate President Pro-Tempore Jinggoy Estrada Wednesday commended President Benigno Aquino for signing into law the Batas Kasambahay that establishes the labor rights and privileges of domestic workers in the country. ”The Araw ng Kasambahay has finally come. After many years of languishing in the legislative mill for several Congresses, the Batas Kasambahay is now a reality,” Estrada, author and sponsor of the bill, said. Estrada said President Aquino signed the landmark bill for domestic workers before leaving for Davos, Switzerland last Tuesday night to attend the World Economic Forum. Estrada, chairman of the Senate committee on labor, employment and human resources development, said over two million household workers stand to benefit from the law. Titled “An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers,” the Batas Kasambahay will increase the monthly salary of domestic workers from P800 to P2,500 in the National Capital Region; from P650 to P2,000 for chartered cities and first-class municipalities; and from P550 to P1,500 for those in other municipalities. The new law will also entitle the domestic workers to coverage and membership of the Social Security System (SSS), Philhealth and PAG-IBIG. Estrada expressed appreciation to his fellow legislators for supporting his campaign to pass the measure after 19 long years. He also hailed the efforts of the bicam members — Senators Loren Legarda, Ramon Revilla, Jr., Pia Cayetano and Lito Lapid, and Representatives Emil Ong, Juan Edgardo Angara, Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr., Rufus Rodriguez, Walden Bello, Magtanggol Gunigundo, Janette Garin, Edcel Lagman and Mitos Magsaysay.
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