Additional privileges for maids pushed

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Monday, January 13, 2014

MANILA --Senator Nancy Binay recently filed two bills seeking to provide medical care and education for domestic workers.

The bills aim to beef up Republic Act 10361, which outlines the rights of domestic workers including standard basic pay and access to state-sanctioned benefits.

In Senate Bill 2009, Binay proposed mandating medical and dental establishments and institutions to provide 20 percent discounts on any sale of goods and services for medicine, medical and dental services for any domestic worker and her/his immediate kin.

Domestic workers should also get either the provided 20 percent discount or the establishment’s offered discount, whichever is higher or more favorable.

Homeowners will be rewarded by a tax deduction of up to P20,000 under Senate Bill 2005 if they will let their maids or househelp attend school, finish their studies or undergo training, provided that the employer will pay for their tuition, transportation, books and other related costs.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz welcomed the bills although she clarified that medical care is already covered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth).

"Medical care is covered by PhilHealth. If at all, dental care can be covered by the discounted rate," she said in a text message to Sun.Star.

Binay is hoping that the bills' passage would improve the welfare and uplift the living conditions of domestic workers. (Sunnex)

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