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Dumaguete City, PhilippinesFriday, April 29, 2011
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Kasambahay ordinance
pushed in Dumaguete

Government and non-government organizations working for the welfare of household workers or “kasambahay” in Negros Oriental are reviving efforts to pass  an ordinance on protection mechanisms for the domestic work sector in Dumaguete City.

Two proposed kasambahay ordinances had failed to get the needed votes at the Dumaguete City Council, with the first one proposed by former City Councilor and now Second District Board Member Rotelio Lumjod and just recently by incumbent City Councilor Kenneth Arbas, a Philippine Information Agency press release said.

Proponents of the ordinance, led by the Visayan Forum and its group of domestic workers Samahan at Ugnayan ng Manggagawang Pantahanan sa Pilipinas, were dismayed over the rejections but continue to hope for the passage of the ordinance.

"We will not give up because we believe this ordinance will benefit not only the domestic workers but their employers as well," Marlene Pepino of the VF said during a forum Wednesday at the Plaza Ma. Luisa Suites Inn.

Pepino said, VF has secured the support of the Provincial Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking in Persons, to round up the needed support and figures to back the Kasambahay ordinance the next time it is pushed at the city council.

The group also met with barangay captains and plans to organize the public schools with large numbers of working students to gain more support for the Kasambahay ordinance, the press release said.

If the ordinance is passed, Señeres said they will promote Dumaguete as a Kasambahay-friendly city in the region.

She said there are around 2,000 household helpers in Negros Oriental listed by the VF,. "Most of those we listed are working students only and it does not include domestic workers who are not going to school," she said.*

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