THE DEPARTMENT of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Tuesday directed barangays to implement the registration of domestic workers, which is intended to provide them with access to social services and protection from exploitation.   

Interior Secretary Eduardo M. Año said only 8% or 3,359 out of the 42,046 barangays nationwide have rolled out a registration program, with the Bicol region having the most registrations under 627 barangays.  

“We direct our barangay heads to be more proactive in instituting a registration system for our helpers as it is critical to ensure that they are accorded the full protection of the law, Mr. Año said in a statement.   

Under the Domestic Workers Act, heads of barangays, the smallest political unit in the Philippines, are responsible for the registry of domestic workers within their jurisdiction. 

“Our barangay officials are integral in realizing the full effect of Batas Kasambahay or the Domestic Worker’s Act in the communities,” Mr. Año said.  

A survey conducted in 2019 by the Department of Labor and Employment and the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that 83% of the 1.4 million domestic workers in the country are not covered by social security benefits.  

This despite the Philippines being the only country in Asia and the Pacific that ratified the Domestic Worker’s Convention in 2011, according to the International Labor Organization (ILO).

The Domestic Worker’s Act, signed in January 2013, set a minimum wage, benefits, and improved terms of employment for domestic workers.  

Globally, only about 6% of domestic workers have access to comprehensive protections covering medical care, sickness, and unemployment, the ILO said, citing a study it conducted this year. John Victor D. Ordoñez