ZAMBOANGA CITY, January 17, 2022– Honoring the contributions of the Kasambahay sector to the society, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 9 celebrated “Araw ng Kasambahay” with some 180 kasambahays on January 16, 2022 at the KCC Mall de Zamboanga East Wing Atrium, Gov. Camins Avenue, Zamboanga City.

“We are here today because we want to give importance to Kasambahays. We commend them for being our partners in the household, you have contributed a great deal to Filipino families to live a more harmonious and productive life,” said Atty. Roy L. Buenafe, DOLE 9 Regional Director in his opening speech.

Educating and empowering Kasambahays with learning sessions were partners from the Social Security System, Pag-Ibig Fund, Regional Wages and Productivity Board 9, Occupational Safety and Health Center and the Department of Interior Local Government. Topics discussed were updates on social insurances, Productivity, Work-Life Balance, Occupational Safety and Health for Domestic Workers amidst the pandemic and Memorandum Circular No. 2013-61 or the Barangay registration of Kasambahay.

“We wanted to make this day-off more meaningful for them so we opted for learning sessions which will help them know more about their rights and privileges. At the same time, those employers who came with their kasambahays, might also learn a thing or two about their responsibilities as employers,” added Atty. Buenafe.

Councilor Elbert “Bong” Atilano gave a short talk on City Ordinance No. 568 which institutes policies for the protection and welfare of domestic workers within the territorial jurisdiction of the City of Zamboanga.

To further cement the commitment of partners and allies in the welfare of Kasambahays, a solidarity signing was conducted where duty bearers affixed their signatures on a symbolic tarp alongside a copy of City Ordinance 568.

Barangay Councils of Tumaga, Tugbungan, Ayala, Talon-Talon and Zone III were awarded with Certificates of Recognition for establishing and maintaining a functional and responsive Kasambahay Desk in their respective barangays.

After a series of educational talks, Kasambahays and guests were treated to a talent showdown with KasamBEST where 9 lively contestants showcased their talents in dancing, singing, spoken poetry and acting. Emerging as the grand winner and bagging a Php10,000 cash prize is Heart Grace Moleno who penned and dramatically recited a heart-felt poem of the sacrifices of her mother during the pandemic. Singing kasambahays Imelda Bacuajon and Angelita Magallon placed 2nd and 3rd place respectively who brought home cash prizes of 7,000 and 5,000 pesos.

Throughout the day, raffle prizes such as cash, grocery packages, appliances, cellphone load cards and sacks of rice were given away to lucky winners.

The celebration of Kasambahay Day was made possible with the support of the following partners: ZAMPEN Association of Kasambahays Zamboanga City Civil Society Organization, Inc, Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance Inc., Liga ng mga Barangay – Zamboanga City, LGU-Zamboanga City, Philippine Information Agency 9, Department of Local Interior Government 9, Pag-Ibig Fund, SSS, Zamboanga Ecozone, Overseas Workers Welfare Administration 9, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority 9, Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board 9, Philippine Overseas Employment Administration, National Conciliation and Mediation Board, Professional Regulation Commission 9, Occupational Safety and Health Center 9, Employees Compensation Commission 9 and KCC Mall de Zamboanga.

“The DOLE will continue working hand in hand with the DILG and the Liga ng mga Barangay to ensure that Kasambahay Desks are functional in each barangay in order to immediately address the concerns of our hardworking kasambahays,” shared Atty. Buenafe.

January 18 of every year is declared as Araw ng mga Kasambahay pursuant to House Bill 6285 which is a special non-working holiday for domestic workers. ### Karen Grafia