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Caregiver benefits bill filed in Senate

PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

A BILL seeking to ensure the rights and welfare of caregivers has been filed in the Senate, which if passed would provide protections against abuse, harassment, and require that they be paid at least the minimum wage.

“In recognition of the very important role of caregivers in national development, policies in the practice of the caregiving profession must be instituted to protect the rights of caregivers and to promote their welfare towards a decent employment,” according to the explanatory note of Senate Bill 1396, filed by Senator Francis N. Tolentino on Oct. 19.

The bill defines caregivers as graduates of a caregiving course from an accredited training institution.

Mr. Tolentino said that according to a 2021 study by the Economic Policy Institute, caregivers in many countries “are deeply undervalued and underpaid, frequently working below the designated minimum wage.”

Working hours must also be based on an employment contract signed by the parties and in accordance with labor law. Overtime pay kicks in after an eight-hour shift.

“All existing arrangements between a caregiver and the employer shall be adjusted to conform to the minimum standards set forth by this Act,” according to the bill.

The bill requires that all hired caregivers be covered by the Social Security System, the Philippine Health Insurance Corp., the Home Development Mutual Fund, and all other benefits required by law. — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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