The Lilac Center for Public Interest, a policy research and advocacy group, yesterday urged the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) to come down hard on homeowners’ associations that are failing to provide assistance to local government units in the registration of domestic workers of members and homeowners in their jurisdiction.
“Homeowners’ associations are mandated by law to help implement local and national government policies, programs, rules, and ordinances in the interest of development,” Lilac Center president Nicon F. Fameronag said, citing provisions of R.A. 9904, otherwise known as the “Magna Casta for Homeowners’ Associations”.
“There is a national law, R.A. 10361, the Domestic Workers Act, or Batas Kasambahay, which requires the registration of all domestic workers in the barangay and the HLURB, under Board Resolution No. 949 S. 2017, is required to assist barangay governments in the registration. The Lilac Center has been monitoring the implementation of this resolution and it appears no homeowners’ association is heeding the directive. The HLURB should strictly enforce this rule and penalize homeowners’ associations,” Fameronag explained.
The HLURB Board issued the resolution on 3 May 2017 upon the strong lobbying of domestic workers’ groups and trade unions, the DILG, and civil society. The resolution also requires homeowners, whether members or not of homeowners’ associations, to submit the list of all domestic workers they employ, with the obligation to update the said list in cases of the hiring of new domestic workers, or the separation from employment of domestic workers already listed.
“The Batas Kasambahay was enacted to make domestic work decent and formal and to ensure domestic workers of their rights, freedoms, and privileges as domestic workers,” Fameronag further said.
“The Philippines, as a ratifier of the International Labor Organization’s Convention 189, or the Convention on Decent Work for Domestic Workers, and all its instrumentalities and agencies, specifically the DILG and the HLURB, should follow through and sustain the implementation of the Convention and of Batas Kasambahay, and strongly enforce their mandates under the Batas Kasambahay. We owe it to the more than 2 million domestic workers here at home and more than 3 million domestic workers overseas to accord them the dignity and recognition due them as domestic workers,” Fameronag finally said. R.A. 9904 provides a fine of P5,000 but not more than P50,000 to any person who, intentionally or by gross negligence, violates any of its provision, and fails to perform duties and functions it mandates. It also permanently disqualifies any person from
being elected or appointed as a member of the board, officer, or employee of the homeowners’ association without prejudice to being charged before a regular court for violations of the provisions of the Revised Penal Code, Civil Code, and other pertinent laws.