WITH the P1,000 increase in monthly salaries of kasambahays or household workers in Metro Manila now in place, Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada proposed the condonation of penalties for unpaid Social Security System (SSS) contributions of household employers.
In filing his Senate Bill No. 43, Estrada said the condonation will not only cover the employers of 200,000 household workers in the National Capital Region (NCR) but the estimated 1.4 million domestic workers throughout the country as well.
“This is a win-win solution. Delinquent household employers will be given a reprieve while the kasambahays can now avail of the benefits from the government-run insurance program which they have been deprived of due to unremitted contributions of their employers,” said Estrada, principal author of the Batas Kasambahay or Republic Act 10361.
A survey conducted by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that as of October 2019 or six years since the enactment of RA 10361, 83 percent of the 1.4 million kasambahays still do not enjoy any social security benefit.
The SSS also said that as of March 2019, household employers registered with SSS stood only at 267,478.
“Instead of taking a punitive stance against delinquent employers, there is a need to build a more collaborative partnership with them. Besides, the ultimate goal of Batas Kasambahay is to promote the welfare of our domestic workers and ensure their healthy and productive relationship with their employers,” Estrada said.
In his bill, Estrada proposed that household employers who have not remitted contributions due to the SSS may settle or submit a proposal to pay their unpaid contributions on installment basis within six months following the enactment of the measure.
If the employer fails to remit contributions within the six-month grace period or defaults in the payment of any amortization provided in the approved proposal, the prescribed penalty shall be imposed from the time the contributions first became due as provided in the Social Security Law or RA 8282. Unregistered household employers and those with cases pending before the courts or Office of the Prosecutor involving collection of contributions or penalties will also be covered by the proposed condonation.
“This will encourage them to comply with the laws and continue paying their contributions for their kasambahays,” Estrada said.