Bill to help household helpers to pursue their studies

Household helpers may pursue their dream of finishing school to find
higher paying jobs under a bill giving them a chance to complete their
studies while working as “kasambahays.”

Rep. Eulogio Magsaysay (Party-list, AVE), Vice-Chairperson of the
House Committee on  Higher and Technical Education, urged Congress to
fast track the approval of House Bill 5289 to help household helpers
pursue their education.

“As one of the vulnerable groups, household helpers are not usually
endowed with proper education. If ever, they acquired education it is
only in the primary or intermediate levels.  Without proper education,
they will find it difficult to climb the social ladder and improve
their lives,” Magsaysay, author of the bill, said.

Magsaysay said the bill mandates all government-owned educational
institutions to provide scholarship grants to deserving household
helpers after passing the qualifying examinations and other screening
requirements to be instituted by the Commission on Higher Education
(CHED), state universities and the Technical Education and Skills
Development Authority (TESDA).

Magsaysay said those who will qualify but would decide to enroll in
private educational institutions will get a 60 percent discount on the
tuition fees.

“All qualified household workers shall be exempted from the payment of
miscellaneous fees charged by the schools,” Magsaysay said.

Under the bill, household helpers are also required to submit an
authentic certification signed by their employers before taking
qualifying examinations.

The Labor Code of the Philippines defines domestic or household
helpers as those who render service in the employer’s home which is
usually necessary or desirable for the maintenance and enjoyment and
includes ministering to the personal comfort and convenience of the
members of the employer’s household, including services of, but not
limited to, babysitters, gardeners, yayas, cleaning ladies, laundry
women, and the like.

The bill mandates the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the
Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Technical Skills and
Development Authority (TESDA) shall jointly formulate guidelines for
the availment of benefits under the proposed act.

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