Rama eyes better pay, benefits for day care workers

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Cebu City Rep. Edu Rama Jr. has filed a bill providing day care workers in the country with adequate pay, security of tenure, benefits and privileges, among other benefits.

House Bill No. 6883, or the Magna Carta of Day Care Workers, aims to adopt policies that will improve the social and economic welfare of day care workers, who are charged with the vital role of providing preschool education and social development services to children.

Rama stressed the need to invest in the welfare of children at an early age.

“There is a need to empower and develop those who dedicate their lives in cultivating and forming the youth,” according to him.

He said day care workers, who only receive a small honorarium, “are primarily engaged in the provision of early child development services and programs such as care, social development, education, protection, and other needs of children aged four years and below in all government-sponsored day care centers.”

In late February, a Senate hearing revealed that some day care workers only receive only P500 to P1,000 a month.

Senator Imee Marcos said there were 65,000 day care centers in the country.

Under the bill, all day care workers in the country will have two plantilla positions, which include Day Care Worker I and Day Care Worker II. The positions will receive Salary Grade 6 (P17,553) and Salary Grade 8 (P19,744), respectively.

The bill shall establish a Special Personnel Selection Board (SPSB) that will screen candidates and create a pool of 10 qualified applicants for possible appointment to the subject positions.

“The SPSB shall be composed of the local social welfare development officer as the chairperson, the punong barangay, local health officer, human resource management officer, and LGU (local government unit) members,” said Rama.

Aside from the proposed compensation, each day care worker shall be provided with benefits like overtime pay, hazard allowance and subsistence allowance.

“Added benefits shall include an automatic membership of these workers to the government’s mandatory monthly contributions for GSIS (Government Service Insurance System), PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig, which at the present, most of them are paying their contributions voluntarily,” said Rama.

Under Section 14 of HB 9883, the amount necessary to cover the salaries and benefits of day care workers shall be charged from the Internal Revenue Allotment now called the national tax allocation and the Special Education Fund of the LGUs concerned.

All qualified incumbent day care workers hired under casual, contractual and job order employment status shall automatically be considered candidates and given priority for appointment to permanent day care positions.

“This legislative measure has long been overdue. In fact, various day care workers have spoken to me regarding the need for a legislative measure to empower and protect them. It is our duty as legislators, to ensure that we listen to our constituents and do what we can to uplift them,” he added.