A bill was filed in the House of Representatives seeking to give a monthly compensation to housewives and stay-at-home mothers.
Authored by Albay Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, House Bill 8875 aims to recognize the roles and contributions of mothers who stay at home to take care of their young children. It reiterates that childcare is considered a “valuable economic activity” and to highlight mothers’ worth in nation-building.
The bill seeks to make compensation for mothers’ “housework and give them wages for the work they continue to bear out at home.”
The lawmaker defines “housewives or stay-at-home mothers” as those “who take care of their children, who walk them to school and assist them in their school homework, manage very little family budget, do grocery shopping.”
Salceda proposes that a monthly compensation be focused on mothers with at least one child under 12 years old and living under poverty line. A monthly compensation of P2,000 shall be given until the family “graduates” from poverty or no longer have children under 12.
Salceda cited a January 2018 data stating that as much as 11.2 million women stopped working and chose to be at home to take care of their family. He said it’s high time that this “unpaid care work” be properly compensated.
The lawmaker added that out of the figures, 4.168 million have at least one child under 12 years old, with some 1.790 million living below the poverty line.
The bill would mandate the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWSD) to formulate and institute the procedures and identify the beneficiaries.
Salceda, an economist, estimated that a P35-billion budget is needed for this social protection assistance program for stay-at-home moms from poor families. Out of the said budget, P32 billion would go to married women, P3 billion to single mothers, and the rest to widows, divorcees, and other women.
The bill was pushed to break the notion that “work that is not paid for does not count as productive labor.”