Philippines Ratifies International Domestic Worker Convention
Today domestic workers all over the world rejoice! The Philippines has ratified the C189, becoming the second country to do so. The Senate voted in favor of the Convention on Monday, 6th August 2012 when the Bill was submitted for the final reading at the Session. “I am so proud of being a Filipina as my government cares for domestic workers by confirming our rights as workers, “ said Shiella Estrada, a Filipino domestic worker in Hong Kong and the leader of the Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions.
This ratification by the Philippines is very significant. It is the second country to ratify C189, Uruguay being the first, and will allow for the Domestic Workers Convention to come into force a year from now. Its stipulations will serve as a reference in all policy, standard setting and legislation concerning domestic workers in all governmental institutions globally. All governments should ratify the C189 which will thereafter be binding on them.
In Asia, domestic workers are among the least protected. In many countries, domestic workers are denied basic rights such as a weekly rest day and the right to form trade unions. In ratifying the Convention, the Philippine Government is telling other governments what is the right thing to do.
Meanwhile, the Domestic Workers Act in the Philippines is still pending at the House of Representatives. Once it is approved, it will be the tool to implement C189 in the country. The struggle ofdomestic workers organizations, such as SUMAPI , and trade unions to realize decent work for domestic workers in the Philippines is not yet finished.