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Maid gets P320K back pay with DOLE agency’s help

MANILA, Philippines—It’s an “early Christmas” for Nena Zabaldica, a domestic helper from San Juan City, who finally received over P320,000 in back wages from her South Korean employer with the help of National Conciliation and Mediation Board (NCMB) office in the National Capital Region.

Zabaldica, a native of Naga City who is in her 40s, said the NCMB, a Department of Labor and Employment-attached agency, “succeeded in working out a compromise agreement, prompting my former boss (Seong Hyun Euy) to finally pay me my unpaid salaries from July 2010 to July 2014.”

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After deducting the P151,163 in loans she got from Seong, Zabaldica received P173,127, an NCMB staff member said. Her monthly pay was about P6,500.

Contacted by phone, Zabaldica said she would no longer pursue a case against her former employer. “Getting employed again is my top priority,” she told the Inquirer.

In a statement, the NCMB said Zabaldica was “more than happy to receive her claims.”

Republic Act No. 1036 or the Kasambahay law imposes, among others, the penalty of up to P40,000 for “unlawful acts committed by an employer without prejudice to the filing of appropriate civil or criminal action by the aggrieved party.”

It also provides mechanisms for settling disputes through a conciliation process to be handled by the NCMB.

Reynaldo Ubaldo, the agency’s executive director, reported to Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz that “through conciliation, NCMB mediator Hacelfeo Cuares was able to formulate a mutually acceptable solution to the complaint of Ms Zabaldica.”

“Both parties were spared of the inconvenience that goes with litigation had they resorted to let the courts decide the dispute,” he said.

Ubaldo recalled that Zabaldica asked for assistance from the NCMB sometime in late July, alleging that Seong did not pay her from July 15, 2010 to July 22, 2014.

The South Korean businessman “admitted the offense but argued that Zabaldica had left her job and failed to return on the date she was supposed to come back.”

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She argued, however, that she came back only to find out that Seong had hired a new maid.

Ubaldo added that the compromise agreement was a “win-win solution” for both the complainant and her former boss.

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TAGS: Department of Labor and Employment, DOLE, Hacelfeo Cuares, Kasambahay law, National Capital Region, National Conciliation and Mediation Board office, NCMB office, Nena Zabaldica, Reynaldo Ubaldo, Rosalinda Baldoz, San Juan City, Seong Hyun Euy
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