Category Archives: Uncategorized

About the Kasambahay Law

“Kasambahay” or household employee refers to persons who render services at home and are compensated for their services. They are your:

  • yaya
  • cook
  • gardener
  • houseboy
  • laundry person or labandera
  • general househelp

or any other person who regularly performs domestic work in your home. “Family drivers” and other persons who perform work occasionally and not on a regular basis at home are NOT considered “kasambahay” for purposes of the Kasambahay Law.

Employment contract: This law seeks to standardize employment terms of employment by requiring the employer to issue an employment contract to the Kasambahay and to provide the office of the punong barangay a copy of the contract– employers are required to make 3 copies.  The terms and conditions must follow the form of the Employment Contract that the Department of Labor prescribed. You can find the standard format at the DOLE site or click HERE for a free copy.

Payment of certain benefits: In addition to the kasambahay’s monthly salary, the employer is also required to pay the kasambahay’s contribution in SSS, Pag-ibig fund and PhilHealth (if the kasambahay’s monthly salary does not exceed Php 5,000.) The kasambahay is also entitled to 13th month pay and service incentive leave of 5 days.

Other features of the kasambahay law include:

The law (RA 10361) and its implementing rules contain other important provisions that every household employer must know in order to avoid legal labor problems.    If you’re interested in knowing more about the Kasambahay Law and what your rights and obligations are as an employer, you may want to check out the latest book “Batas Kasambahay” written by lawyer, author and Philippine labor law speaker Atty. Elvin Villanueva.  Available at National Book Store outlets and Fully Booked Stores.Batas Kasambahay_Villanueva Final

Traveling with Minors

Semestral or summer school breaks are great opportunities for children to travel abroad.

When traveling with minors, the key to a stress-free journey is advanced preparation. Here are some things to remember:

1.  For travels abroad, as a rule of thumb, a child will need a valid passport with at least 6 months left in its expiry period.

2.  Always check passports for expiry dates and apply for a renewal passport at the soonest time.  The Department of Foreign Affairs is reportedly experiencing some delays in the release of passports with RUSH applications reaching several weeks!

3.  A minor (below 18 years old) Filipino who is not traveling with any of his/her parents must have a travel clearance obtained from the DSWD.  Click on this link to learn more about the Travel Clearance and who needs it. 

4.  Parents with pending child custody cases should first obtain a favorable order from the court regarding any foreign travel to avoid being stopped at the airport (port of exit). Some immigration officers don’t bother to check the authority of parents to bring their children out of the country, but others still do.

5.  It can be especially stressful to lose a passport when one is abroad. Always keep photocopies of all the pages of a child’s passport to facilitate applications for new ones in case of loss or renewal.

6.  Teach children not to accept packages from anyone (friends and relatives included) to be carried or packed in any of their belongings.  Prohibited or illegal objects found in their possession during routine airport checks may subject them to penalties simply by having them in their luggage, bags or pockets.

7.  Make sure that your child carries a maximum of Php 10,000 (pesos).  If more, then you may have to secure prior approval to do so from the Bangko Sentral.  I suggest giving your child travelers checks which are typically denominated in US dollars or wherever possible, letting your child carry a supplement credit card that is internationally acceptable to finance his or her needs abroad.

The Philippines and The Hague Convention on Child Abduction

In October 1980, the Hague Conference on Private International Law unanimously adopted the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, which was signed by a number of countries including the United States. 

The goal of this multilateral treaty is to secure the prompt return of children wrongfully removed from or retained in any country which is a party to the Convention. The countries that are parties to the Convention have agreed that, subject to certain limited exceptions and conditions, a child who is removed from or retained in one of the signatory countries shall be promptly returned to the other member country where the child habitually resided before the abduction or wrongful retention. 

The Hague Convention is a return mechanism that does not resolve custody issues or any additional disputes concerning the child’s status.  It merely provides a remedy for one parent to obtain the quick return of a child to his or her habitual country, where custody and other disputed issues may be resolved.

At present, this Convention is the the only piece of international legislation that provides for the return of an internationally abducted child.   The Philippines and many Middle Eastern countries are not  signatories to this Convention.  This means that if your child is taken out of the country without your knowledge and consent by the other parent, even with a valid visitation agreement confirmed by a Philippine court, you may have problems seeking the return of your child if he or she is taken to a country that does not observe this Convention.

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Increase your chances of collecting friendly debts

With global recession sending ripple effects across less developed countries like the Philippines, it’s easy to expect a rise in overdue accounts and collection suits nowadays. If you’re not in the business of lending money, I suggest that you hold on to your cash to save yourself the headache of having to collect from friends. 

For those, however, who can’t turn a blind eye on a friend in need, temper your warm heart with some cold techniques to increase your chances of collection or to cut your losses later.  Here’s what will help:

Lend only what you can afford to lose.

The value of money is relative– what could be loose change for others may be hard earned cash for you, worse, it could be your monthly utilities budget. Consider your personal needs first and lend out only what is truly extra cash for you or you may end up borrowing money from someone else as well. Moreover, lending out a small amount increases its chances of getting paid.

Ask for security.

Follow the lead of pawnshops and banks by asking for something of value that you can hold on to while your loan is unpaid. It could be a watch, small piece of jewelry, that Louis Vuitton purse or anything that approximates the amount of the loan. That way, your friend will have the motivation to repay you or risk not seeing the “collateral”. 

Ask for post-dated checks.

Financial companies do this as well. If your friend offers to pay you back in two months, break down the loan in chunks, say 4 payments, and secure these with checks that are post-dated. When each of the checks fall due, you need not remind your friend to pay but simply deposit the checks to collect. Checks that bounce or are returned unpaid due to insufficiency of funds or closed account will expose your friend to criminal liability under the Bouncing Checks Law and/or Estafa.  While you may not want to sue your friend for her unpaid debt, hopefully, the issuance of the post-dated checks will serve as a deterrent for non-payment.

Put it down in writing.

It is always good practice to write down verbal promises, agreements and the fact of receipt in case things go awry.  As friends, you may cringe at the thought of asking your borrower to sign a receipt acknowledging the loan or the fact that you lent her some cash. The choice is yours whether to suffer a moment of discomfort today or months of regret later when your friend conveniently forgets about the loan.

These are not guarantees, however, that loans to friends will be paid as other factors can come into play, such as the history of financial irresponsibility, actual cash position, and even moral character of your friend. When a debt is overdue, you should take immediate steps to collect it.  If the loan is in a substantial amount, your best next move may be to seek the advice of a lawyer.