Metro Manila, Philippines – President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. signed into law Republic Act 11965 or the Caregiver Welfare Act to protect the rights and welfare of the sector, the Presidential Communications Office announced on Friday.

According to the law signed by Marcos on Nov. 23, the working hours of caregivers in the Philippines will be based on their employment contract. It also mandates overtime pay for work beyond eight hours daily.

Caregivers who have rendered at least one month of service are also entitled to 13th month pay.

They will be entitled to benefits such as Social Security System contributions, PhilHealth, and Pag-Ibig.

It also gives caregivers the option to terminate their employment contract any time before expiration if they suffer physical, verbal, emotional abuse or inhumane treatment at the hands of their employers.

Employers can also prematurely terminate a contract on the basis of misconduct or disobedience, gross or habitual neglect, fraud or willful breach of trust, commission of crimes, and violation of contract on the part of the caregiver

They can also end employment if the caregiver has a disease, which is prejudicial to the health of the employers, the client, or any member of the household, the law also said.

The PCO said those covered by the law include caregivers in the Philippines working in private homes, nursing or care facilities, and “caregivers whether directly hired by the employer or placed through Public Employment Services Office (PESO) and Private Employment Agency (PEA).”

Furthermore, the Department of Labor and Employment is tasked with maintaining a list of caregivers in the Philippines which will be made available to the public.

The newly signed measure is a consolidation of Senate Bill (SB) 2019 and House Bill (HB) 227.

SB 2019 was authored by Senators Loren Legarda, Sonny Angara, Francis Tolentino, Bong Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Go, Cynthia Villar, Joel Villanueva, Ronald Dela Rosa, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Meanwhile, the authors of HB 227 include Representatives Geraldine Roman, Eric Yap, Edvic Yap, Jocelyn Tulfo, Ralph Tulfo, Patrick Vargas, Jaye Lacson-Noel, Florencio Noel, Juan Nograles, Mary Cajayon-Uy, Charisse Hernandez, Keith Tan, Allan Ty, Christopherson Yap, Munir Arbison, Arlene Brosas, France Castro, Christopher De Venecia, Alfred Delos Santos, Paolo Duterte, Edcel Lagman, Romeo Acop, Bonifacio Bosita, Carl Cari, Edwin Gardiola, Mark Go, Gerville Luistro, Khymer Olaso, Rodolfo Ordanes, Florida Robes, Roman Romulo, Alana Santos, Leody Tarriela, Gus Tambunting, Mannix Dalipe, and Martin Romualdez.