Bill seeks to grant monthly compensation for housewives, stay-at-home mothers


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MANILA, Philippines – A bill filed in the House of Representatives seeks to give a monthly allowance or compensation to mothers who are left at home to take care of their young children.

House Bill 8875 or the “Housewives Compensation Bill”, authored by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, is urging the government to grant a monthly allowance to housewife and stay-at-home mothers. According to the bill, it seeks to recognize the work of housewives as “valuable economic activity”.

Bill seeks to grant monthly compensation for housewives, stay-at-home mothers
Housewives and stay-at-home mothers living in poverty may soon get monthly compensation | Photo Courtesy: Global Living Organization

Under the bill, women who cannot be part of the labor force due to their responsibility as house carers should be given allowance by the government as “payment for their housework and give them wages for the work they continue to bear out at home.”

The bill proposes that a monthly payment of P2,000 shall be given to women with at least 1 child under 12 years old and living below the poverty line. It will continue until the family graduates from poverty or no longer have children under 12 years old.

It also mandates the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to identify the beneficiaries and proper procedures for its implementation.

The lawmaker noted that based on January 2018 data, as much as 12 million people -- 11.2 million of whom are women-- are unable to join the labor force due to “unpaid care work.” Out of this number, 4,168 million have at least one child under 12 years old, with some 1.790 million living below the poverty line.

Salceda explained, “Some studies show that if we quantify the work of stay-at-home women, it approximates the work of ‘kasambahay’ or housemaids, thus housewives also deserve to get paid at least what a ‘kasambahay’ earns.”

A noted economist, Salceda estimates that the cost of the assistance program would reach P35 billion. He made an estimated allocation where P32 billion would go to married women, P3 billion to single mothers, and the rest to widows, divorcees, and other women.

Salceda said that the proposal would challenge the belief that “work that is not paid for does not count as productive labor.”

— Sally, The Summit Express


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