The House committee on the welfare of children chaired by Rep. Divina Grace Yu (1st District, Zamboanga del Sur) recently approved a substitute bill which seeks to establish a Magna Carta of Day Care Workers.
The unnumbered bill, which aims to improve the social and and economic well-being of day care workers, substituted House Bill Nos. 440, 748, 848, 953, 982, 1345, 1971, 2550, 3407, 3428, 3530, 3826, 3968, 4552 and 4738 authored, respectively, by Deputy Speaker Romero Quimbo, Reps. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Rosenda Ann Ocampo, Lawrence Fortun, Romeo Acop, Estrellita Suansing and Horacio Suansing, Jr., Yedda Marie Romualdez, Sol Aragones, Julieta Cortuna, Peter Unabia, Strike Revilla, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, Maximo Rodriguez Jr., and Arlene Brosas.
The bill defines day care workers as persons primarily engaged in the provision of early child development services and programs, such as care, social development, education, protection, and other needs of children aged four years old and below in all government-sponsored day care centers.
It provides for the creation of at least one Day Care Worker I and one Day Care Worker II plantilla positions in all day care centers nationwide.
A day care worker who possesses the following qualifications shall be hired to the position of Day Care Worker I and entitled to Salary Grade Six: of legal age; must have completed at least two years of college education; must be certified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or DSWD-deputized entities to have complied with existing requisites and trainings in early childhood care and development; must not have been convicted by final judgment of any crime; and must not have a pending case in relation to Republic Act No. 7610, otherwise known as “Special Protection on Children Against Child Abuse.”
A day care worker who possesses the same qualifications as that of Day Care I, with at least five years of working experience as such, and has completed more than 12 hours of relevant training, shall be hired as Day Care Worker II and entitled to Salary Grade Eight.
Moreover, day care workers shall also receive additional compensation, whenever applicable, such as overtime pay, hazard allowance and subsistence allowance.
Other benefits to be granted to day care workers include: whenever possible, married couples who are both day care workers shall be assigned in the same municipality or city; right to self-organization; free legal services; free medical examination and treatment; and preferential access to livelihood, loans, grants and skills enhancement.
All day care workers shall automatically become members of the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), PAG-IBIG, and PHILHEALH, the bill provides.
Villarica said as caretakers of children in the absence of their parents who work during the day or even beyond the call of duty, day care center workers deserve only the best treatment by the State.
“In their hands are the future leaders and foremost personalities in Philippine politics, business, science and technology, culture and the arts,” said Villarica.