The House of Representatives this week unanimously approved on third and final reading a bill seeking to uphold the rights of caregivers to decent employment and income, as well as protect them against abuse, harassment, violence, and exploitation.
House Bill No. 6396 or the proposed “Caregivers Welfare Act,” authored by a number of House members led by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, also seeks to develop caregivers with excellent and globally competitive professional service.
The measure defines caregiver as “a graduate of a caregiving course from an accredited training institution that is recognized by the government or is certified competent by that same institution and renders caregiving services.”
It provides that the duties of the caregiver, among others, are: Provide personal care support and assistance to clients with physical impairment or disabilities in private homes, nursing or geriatric (elderly) care facilities, and other residential settings; Help clients with their daily activities and mobility restrictions; Provide some basic health-related services, such as checking a client’s pulse rate, temperature and respiration rate; and Help clients with simple prescribed exercise, and assist in the administration of home medications as prescribed by the physician, provided that assistance in the administration of intravenous medications shall be upon written consent of the physician.
The bill provides a caregiver with the right to terminate the employment relationship even before the expiration of the contract for any of the following reasons: Verbal or emotional abuse by the employer, client or any member of the household; Inhuman treatment including physical abuse by the employer, client or any member of the household; Commission of a crime or offense against the caregiver by the employer, client or any member of the household; Violation of the terms and conditions of the employment contract by the employer; and other causes analogous to the enumerated reasons above.
Moreover, the caregiver shall enjoy the following benefits, among others: Eight-hour work shift, beyond which the mandatory overtime pay shall be applied; minimum wage shall not be less than the applicable minimum wage in the region; 13th month pay as provided by law; Annual service incentive leave of at least five days with pay; and Coverage by the Social Security System (SSS), the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth), and the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG).
Aside from Speaker Alvarez, the other authors of HB No. 6396, also known as “An Act Instituting Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Caregivers in the Practice of Their Profession,” are Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Reps. Reps. Geraldine Roman (1st District, Bataan), Karlo Alexei Nograles (1stDistrict, Davao City), Jericho Jonas Nograles (Party-list, PBA), Gus Tambunting (2nd District, Parañaque City), Deogracias Victor Savellano (1st District, Ilocos Sur), Harlin Neil Abayon III (Party-list, AANGAT TAYO), Linabelle Ruth Villarica (4th District, Bulacan), Joaquin Chipeco Jr. (2nd District, Laguna), Ricardo Belmonte (Party-list, SBP), Eleanor Bulut-Begtang (Lone District, Apayao), Randolph Ting (3rd District, Cagayan), Ariel Casilao (Party-list, ANAKPAWIS), Tom Villarin (Party-list, AKBAYAN), Raymond Democrito Mendoza (Party-list, TUCP); Roland Cosalan (Lone District, Benguet), Peter Unabia (1st District, Misamis Oriental), Sarah Jane Elago (Party-list, KABATAAN), Arlene Brosas (Party-list, GABRIELA), Carlos Isagani Zarate (Party-list, BAYAN MUNA), Anthony Bravo (Party-list, COOP NATCCO), Emmeline Aglipay-Villar (Party-list, DIWA), Teodoro Montoro (Party-list, AASENSO), Mark Go (Lone District, Baguio City), Juan Pablo Bondoc (4th District, Pampanga), Marlyn Primicias-Agabas (6th District, Pangasinan), Arthur Defensor Jr. (3rd District, Iloilo), Roger Mercado (Lone District, Southern Leyte), Ann Hofer (2nd District, Zamboanga Sibugay); Vincent Crisologo (1st District, Quezon City), Aurelio Gonzales Jr. (3rd District, Pampanga), Victoria Isabel Noel (Party-list, AN WARAY), Arnel Ty (Party-list, LPGMA), Alexandria Gonzales (Lone District, Mandaluyong City) Johnny Ty Pimentel (2nd District, Surigao del Sur), Francisco Jose Matugas II (2nd District, Surigao del Norte), Marlyn Alonte (Lone District, Binan City), Oscar Garin II (2nd District, Iloilo), Benhur Lopez Jr. (Party-list, YACAP), Vini Nola Ortega (Party-list, ABONO), Jose Enrique Garcia III (2nd District, Bataan), Ron Salo (Party-list, KABAYAN), Bernadette Herrera-Dy (Party-list, BH), Cristina Roa-Puno (1st District, Antipolo City), Jose Atienza Jr. (Party-list, BUHAY), Eugene Michael De Vera (Party-list, ABS), Luis Jose Angel Campos Jr. (2nd District, Makati City), Mylene Garcia-Albano (2nd District, Davao City), Frederick Abueg (2nd District, Palawan), Cesar Sarmiento (Lone District, Catanduanes), Francis Gerald Abaya (1st District, Cavite), Franz Alvarez (1st District, Palawan), Celso Lobregat (1st District, Zamboanga City), Henry Oaminal (2nd District, Misamis Occidental), Angelina Tan (4th District, Quezon), Rodolfo Albano III (1st District, Isabela), Dakila Carlo Cua(Lone District, Quirino), Robert Ace Barbers (2nd District, Surigao del Norte), Ramon Durano VI (5th District, Cebu), and Edgar Mary Sarmiento (1st District, Samar).