A measure seeking to grant a P2,000 monthly financial assistance to stay-at-home mothers is being pushed in the House of Representatives to recognize the work housewives put in to run the household.
Albay Rep. Joey Salceda, who filed the proposed "Housewives Compensation Act", said that while stay-at-home mothers do most household chores such as preparing their children for school, cooking, and cleaning, their work does not count as "productive labor" as they are not paid for it.
"What if these stay-at-home mothers or housewives take out their services as child caretakers, as homemakers, cooks... would not husbands be less productive at work, would not children be underperforming in school? Clearly, the country's production process will grind to a halt," Salceda, an economist, said.
"The State must therefore recognize the work of stay-at-home women, mothers or housewives as valuable economic activity. Yes, it is time to make payment for their housework and give them wages for the work they continue to bear out at home," he added.
According to Salceda, housewives should be paid at least an amount equivalent to a minimum wage, as household work is also a full-time job. He said several studies showed that the work of stay-at-home women is approximately the work of a kasambahay, "thus housewives also deserve to get paid at least what a kasambahay earns."
Under the measure, a financial assistance equivalent to P2,000 will be given to housewives who perform work at home as a full-time mother, and do not have part-time nor home-based work.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development is tasked to release the financial assistance with the support of the concerned local government unit subject to these conditions:
- The child or children is/are enrolled in public schools with at least 85% attendance;
- The child or children manifest responsible behavior in preparation for eventual independence from the full-time services of the mothers; and
- The family (father, mother and children) attends a quarterly barangay assembly aimed at empowering the family to become responsible members of their locality, and at reducing the time burden of unpaid care for women living in poverty.
If enacted into law, the P2,000 monthly financial assistance will be subject to review every three years by Congress. The DSWD's National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction database will be used to identify the initial set of beneficiaries.