LEGAZPI CITY – The Department of Labor Employment (DOLE) in Bicol has helped a house helper get her retirement pay from her employer through its Single Entry Approach (SEnA) program.

Johana Vi Gasga, DOLE-Bicol spokesperson, on Wednesday said Rosita Pajares or "Nanay Rosing" started working as "kasambahay" for her Manila-based employer in 1991, doing "all around" chores. Now 67 years old, she has no choice but to retire.

From house cleaning, preparation of daily meals, doing the laundry, and babysitting to performing other household tasks—these were the daily routine of Pajares during her 30 years in service.

"As soon as she arrived home in Camarines Norte, she was told that she is entitled to retirement pay. Still not convinced, she visited the DOLE Office in Camarines Norte and asked about her entitlements as kasambahay. Upon validation of Pajares' (Nanay Rosing) case under the Single Entry Approach (SEnA) Program, DOLE- Bicol thru Camarines Norte Provincial Field Office headed by Renalyn E. Alano, set the schedule of the conciliation-mediation conference," Gasga said.

Through a video conference last January 19, the employer acknowledged the rules in granting retirement pay to house helpers under the Labor Code, and agreed to pay PHP100,000 as Nanay Rosing's retirement benefit. It was also agreed upon that payment shall be on an installment scheme for a period of 12 months beginning the end of January 2022 in the amount of PHP8,333.33.

"Both parties entered into a compromise agreement before the SEADO Hearing Officer, Cyre Cabredo, to ensure that the terms and conditions are complied with," Gasga added in an interview.

Pajares, for her part, said “Wala pong pagsidlan ang aking katuwaan at pasasalamat sa DOLE na ako po ay mapagkakalooban ng aking retirement pay. Ang halagang ito ay tutugon sa aking pang araw-araw na pangangailangan sa pagkain at gamot (I am overjoyed and very thankful to the DOLE that I will be receiving my retirement pay. I will use it to sustain my daily needs for food and medicine).”

In a statement, DOLE-Bicol Regional Director Ma. Zenaida A. Angara-Campita said, “By this effort to conciliate and settle issues of monetary entitlements to our kasambahay, we take part in our today’s celebration of Kasambahay Day as a significant contribution of the department in promoting compliance and effective implementation of Republic Act 10361 (Domestic Workers Act).”

She said it is one of the Labor department's ways of giving due recognition to the dedication and rendered services of the hard-working house helpers. (PNA)