ZAMBOANGA — With the passage of Republic Act 10361 or the Batas Kasambahay, the 18th of January is declared as “Araw ng mga Kasambahay” to give recognition to the contributions of domestic workers to society.Domestic workers or Kasambahays in Zamboanga Peninsula Region participated in the celebration of Araw ng Kasambahay spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE 9) in partnership with the Local Government of Zamboanga City.

Centering on this year’s theme, “Protecting the Safety and Health of Domestic Workers Amidst the COVID-19 Situation”, DOLE 9 conducted learning sessions and initiated a talent competition for kasambahays on January 17, 2021 at the Zamboanga Economic Zone and Freeport Authority, San Ramon, Talisayan, Zamboanga City.

Regional Director Atty. Roy L. Buenafe said that it is DOLE’s mandate to protect and promote the rights and welfare of Kasambahays and is committed to deliver on this mandate through advocacy efforts and coordination with implementing agencies.

Some 60 kasambahays attended the learning sessions on topics which are highly beneficial to the kasambahays in the performance of their duties and responsibilities and at the same time educates them on their rights and privileges such as salient features of the Kasambahay Law, updates and benefits of the Social Security System, importance of work-life balance and the basics of occupational safety and health.

DOLE 9 also recognized the efforts of the following Barangay Councils in establishing and maintaining a Kasambahay Registration System and promoting their rights and welfare as per RA 10361: Talon-Talon, Tulungatung, Labuan, Ayala, Sinunuc, Zone III, Tumaga, Tugbungan, Sta. Maria, Bunguiao, Maasin and Patalon.

To add a festive flavor to the celebration, Kasambahays were given the spotlight to showcase their talents during the KasamBEST: Battle of the Best Talent Competition Year 2.

Out of 9 entries, Singing star Violeta Neri, Dancing Duo Mae Selanas and Minda Delos Santos and dance diva Maribel Lomotos emerged victorious and were ranked 1st, 2nd and 3rd placers, respectively and received cash prizes.
All participants received free scholarships from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and tokens from the Regional Tripartite Wages and Productivity Board (RTWPB).

In full support were DOLE 9’s partners in upholding Batas Kasambahay – Councilor Elbert “Bong” Atilano, Sr., Chairperson of Civil Society Organizations in the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Zamboanga City, Councilor El King Omaga representing Mayor Maria Isabelle “Beng” Climaco-Salazar, Congressman Cesar “Jawo” Jimenez, Jr. , Dr. Grace J. Rebollos, President of the Zamboanga-Basilan Integrated Development Alliance, Inc. and Mercedita D.L. Gaballo, President of the Zamboanga Peninsula Association of Kasambahays.

DOLE 9 Assistant Regional Director Imelda F. Gatinao expressed her gratitude to the Kasambahays present and acknowledged their contributions to society. “The DOLE is committed to look after your rights and welfare,” she added. END/With reports from Jerrick Gerard C. Go, TSSD