The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has again turned to the online gateway to solicit public involvement in the crafting of policy, this time, to ask public comments on the government draft of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on the recently enacted landmark law, Republic Act 10361, or ‘An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Domestic Workers’.
Yesterday, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz directed the Labor Communications Office, in cooperation with the DOLE’s Bureau of Working Conditions and the Planning Service, to post at the DOLE official website, www.dole.gov.ph, the government’s draft of the IRR, saying this will help the DOLE raise awareness, solicit inputs faster, and make transparent the crafting of the IRR.
“The online posting of the IRR on the Batas Kasambahay will provide the general public a venue to study the IRR and make comment/s or suggestion/s on its final version. It will give Filipino netizens a channel to express their views on the landmark document after years of legislative struggle,” Baldoz said.
“This is part of our strategy to raise the level of public knowledge on the salient provisions of the law which aims to provide adequate welfare and social protection to our Filipino household service workers,” she added.
Baldoz emphasized that the DOLE’s online solicitation of comments on the IRR is in addition to the nationwide face-to-face, group consultations with all relevant stakeholders scheduled for the whole month of April.
"We have decided to upload the draft IRR in the Internet to get as many comments as possible, because even some DOLE officials and employees and members of the media have raised questions on the Batas Kasambahay which need to be addressed and clarified," the labor and employment chief explained.
The Batas Kasambahay section at the DOLE’s website features the simplified Q and A, both in English and Tagalog version, to ensure that awareness about R.A. No. 10361 will reach and be understood by a wider audience.
The section even provides a ‘freedom wall’ where the public can leave their queries, comments, and other significant suggestions and inputs regarding the IRR draft on the Department’s designated e-mail addresses.
“We want the public and our partners to get involved in shaping the implementing rules of this social legislation. By doing so, we hope to solicit not only valuable inputs, but also support, which will make the law’s implementation effective and smooth.
Last January 18, President Benigno Aquino III signed into law the Kasambahay Bill which has been the most fitting gift that the government has given to over 2.9 million Filipino domestic helpers.
The Batas Kasambahay institutionalizes the provision of a comprehensive package of benefits to Filipino household service workers, including their entitlement to 13th month pay; service incentive leaves; and social welfare benefits such as SSS, PAG-IBIG, and PhilHealth.
The law fulfills the country’s obligation to enact a national legislation in compliance with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) adoption of Convention 189 which sets new international standards for the protection of household helpers.