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Marcos signs caregiver welfare law

(UPDATE) PRESIDENT Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has signed into law the Caregiver Welfare Act, which puts in place policies aimed at protecting the rights and welfare of domestic caregivers, Malacañang said on Friday.

Presidential Communications Secretary Cheloy Garafil said Marcos signed Republic Act (RA) 11965, or «An Act Institutionalizing Policies for the Protection and Welfare of Caregivers in the Practice of Their Occupation,» on Nov. 23, 2023.

«In signing the law, President Marcos recognized the need to protect the rights of the caregivers towards decent employment and income, and adhere to a policy of protecting them against abuse, harassment, violence and economic exploitation,» Garafil said in a statement.

Covered by the law are caregivers employed and working in private homes, nursing or care facilities, and other residential settings, and caregivers, whether directly hired by the employer or placed through the Public Employment Services Office and Private Employment Agency.

Under the law, caregivers' working hours will be based on their employment contract, as they will be entitled to an overtime pay for work beyond the daily eight-working hours and to a night shift differential with a minimum wage not less than the applicable minimum wage in the region.

Caregivers who have rendered at least one month of service are also entitled to 13th month pay, which will be paid not later than December 24 of every year, or upon separation from employment, and a leave credit of at least five days with pay for those who have rendered at least one year of service.

They are also covered with other benefits such as Social Security System contributions, Philippine Health Insurance Corp., the Home Development Mutual Fund, and «all benefits in accordance with the pertinent provisions provided by law.»

A caregiver may terminate his or her contract at any time before its expiration if suffering from verbal or emotional abuse, inhumane treatment and physical abuse.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) will promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Caregiver Act in coordination with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) and other