Bill seeks to hold agencies liable for thieving house helpers

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 02 2020 06:06 PM

MANILA – Buhay party-list Rep. Lito Atienza has filed a bill that seeks to hold private employment agencies (PEA) civilly liable for theft cases involving newly-hired domestic helpers, his office said Monday.

In House Bill 1116, the lawmaker seeks to amend Republic Act 10361 or Domestic Workers’ Act amid “mounting cases” of house helpers allegedly running off with cash and jewelry from their unsuspecting employers.

“The risk of having to pay for losses will compel every PEA to thoroughly vet all individuals recommended for employment as house helpers,” Atienza said in a statement Monday.

“Right now, PEAs do not have any incentive to vet applicants, so their agency services are getting exploited by shady characters and even by theft and robbery syndicates preying on households.”

Atienza, a three-term Manila City mayor, bared a family member became a victim of theft from a newly hired house helper endorsed by an agency.

Under his proposed measure, all PEAs registered with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will ensure applicants do not have criminal record; their place of residence and family background are vetted; and are genuinely seeking employment.

The PEA’s “joint and solidary liability” will cease to exist after 1 year from the date the house helper commenced work with the employer, the lawmaker noted.

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