FAQ

Household helpers can be a big help in maintaining the household. In the Philippines, it is generally hard to keep up with the possible growth of mold and the continuous cleaning that should happen in the house each week. Gawa at Kalinga (GK) is the current service provider that is used to hire a household helper as well as a gardener (if needed).

Gawa at Kalinga (GK) is a Labor Service Cooperative (not an agency), which means it is owned and self-managed by its workers. The members of which work together toward a common goal generating profit for the co-operative which they distribute based on working hours. Each member of Gawa at Kalinga is listed as an owner, member, and employee of Gawa at Kalinga Labor Service Cooperative. Gawa at Kalinga (GK) was created to help marginalized people to have a continuous livelihood.

Following is a list of FAQ and Answers to help in more fully understanding GK.

  • What is the mission/purpose of Gawa at Kalinga (GK)?
    • To inspire meaningful and fulfilled lives with their members.
  • Are there benefits that GK will offer?
    • Statutory benefits; 13th month pay, 5 days service incentive leave, paid leave (paternity leave, parental leave for solo parents, leave for victims of violence against women and their children, special leave for women - Magna Carta for Women, maternity leave), retirement pay, Pag-IBIG benefits, PhilHealth benefits, Social Security benefits, benefits under the employees’ compensation program.
    • Additional benefits; Medical Care and Protection, training cooperative education programs, major training programs (including government accredited trainings), savings programs (high interest), loan (low interest)
  • Why will the role/title of my helper change?
    • Gawa at Kalinga operates within the bounds of the Laguna Labor Law which covers skilled workers and professionals (ie – cooks, cleaners, etc) with a minimum daily wage based on Regional Wage Order. This differs from Kasambahay Law in which employees are seen as unskilled household help.
  • What drives the 11% admin fee?
    • Gawa at Kalinga operate under DOLE Department Order 18 (DA-18) which states that they MUST charge a minimum admin fee of 10%. IRRI is charged 11% and this will also be the rate charged to IRRI leased households, however, to put things into perspective, other existing clients are charged 15% and Makati Development Corporation 24%. What drives the 11% is the number of members within the co-operative and the general operating costs. IRRI provides free rental of facilities/space and free electricity which significantly reduces Gawa at Kalinga’s operating costs and currently they have approximately 680 members.
  • Can the 11% admin cost be reduced?
    • Yes, there is potential for this figure to be reduced to 10% and Gawa at Kalinga have already reduced their fee from 13% as member numbers increase. Gawa at Kalinga currently have 657 farm laborers plus an additional 25 household help service provider members through the IRRI office. If IRRI was to have 1,000 members within Gawa at Kalinga and IRRI was to continue to provide free rental on their facility and electricity there is potential for the admin fee to be reduced to 10%.
  • Where does the 11% admin fee go?
    • 70% of the admin fee is directly returned to members through two different mechanisms;
      • (1) interest on share capital which accounts for 14% of total admin fee (dividends, calculated off their Php10,000 deposit)
      • (2) patronage refund which accounts for 56% of total admin fee (net margins or profits, excluding expenses such as operating costs, are distributed to members in proportion to how many days worked during the year).

In addition, 3.3% (30% of the admin fee) is then allocated across a number of different areas: general reserves, operating costs, business expansion, community development, training and development.

  • General reserve funds ensure the co-op has enough capital to continue running should financial difficulty strike.
  • Operating costs includes the salaries of the members running the co-op.
  • Business expansion include business ventures entered into to increase the profit of the co-op, currently this includes a distribution network of 68 trucks in Cavite and in some parts of the country including Mindanao which distribute Nestle products and other logistics services
  • Community development funds are allocated to community programs and engagement in communities where Gawa at Kalinga LSC serves (eg. Typhoon relief funding).
  • Training and development covers free trainings offered by Gawa at Kalinga some of which are government accredited (TESDA) aimed to upskill members.
  • What are all the salary deductions?
    • Service providers (helpers) will have deductions on their salary (all calculated off gross income) for:
      • SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig.
      • A non-refundable Php500 one-time membership fee (5% is deducted every pay until the membership fee is paid)
      • Mandatory savings:
        • Gawa at Kalinga encourages it’s members to save, so deducts a minimum of Php50 per month from their members salary to place into a savings account which they can access above the Php3,000 maintaining balance.
  • Volunteer Savings:
  • Gawa at Kalinga can offer high interest savings accounts which these wage deductions go into.
    • Commercial banks in the Philippines offer an average of 0.25% interest, however, Gawa at Kalinga are able to offer 6% interest to their members.
      • How? – because they own and run Asia Pro Savings Group Bank.
  • Generally, members do not pay tax on their pay.
    • Gawa at Kalinga ensure the minimum wage is recorded as the salary and additional benefits such as:
      • rice allowances, transport allowance, food allowances, etc. are added back in to ensure the member receives their gross salary.
      • In addition, a refundable fixed deposit (accumulated to Php10,000) and share capital fee (accumulated to Php100) both of which are returned to member upon withdrawal of membership from Gawa at Kalinga. Deductions for the refundable fixed deposit and share capital fees only start once the membership fee is completed and will occur as 5% of the Share in the Service Surplus is deducted every payout until share capital and members’ fixed deposit are completed. Some households have generously covered the joining costs for their helpers.
      • In addition, Gawa at Kalinga implements government mandated deductions including SSS, Philhealth and Pag-Ibig and the member will have to pay their contribution, although again some households have volunteered to shoulder this contribution for their helper.
  • Who pays the 11% SSS benefit?
    • Gawa at Kalinga is required to post the 11% payment to SSS. 3.63% is contributed by the employee and 7.37% is contributed by the employer (Gawa at Kalinga). The co-operative member/ employee is responsible for covering the 3.63% however, many households in ISH generously cover this benefit for their helpers. Gawa at Kalinga as the employer, are responsible for paying the employer portion of the SSS benefit (7.37%) however, by law they have the right to have this reimbursed by the party availing of the service. If the ‘client’ (IRRI leased house residents) refuse to pay the 7.37% SSS benefit, GK have every right to increase their admin fee from 11% to cover the SSS for the employee.
  • Why do the SSS payments not show up as paid online?
    • Whilst Gawa at Kalinga pays these benefits on a monthly basis, the government department only posts these on a quarterly basis. These payments take time to come through and this is beyond Gawa at Kalinga’s control.
  • What is the basis for the mandated government benefits?
    • SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-Ibig are paid from the total daily wage, not the minimum wage shown on the payslip. The minimum wage (which is based on the Laguna daily rates of Php340.5) is used for taxation purposes and allowances and gifts are then added on top on the minimum wage to derive their gross wage (eg. Php500 per day). The mandated government deductions (SSS, PhilHealth and Pag-Ibig) are derived off the service providers gross salary.
  • What if I want my helper to work overtime at the last minute or to switch days? Do I need to notify Gawa at Kalinga?
    • This is not a problem. In instances such as this, simply email Gawa at Kalinga letting them know of the change to ensure your billings reflect the correct working hours and your service provider can be paid accordingly.
  • How will the helper pick up their pay?
    • The member will have different options for collecting their pay on a weekly basis. They can go directly to the Gawa at Kalinga office at IRRI and pick up their pay each Friday or have a trusted friend collect it. Alternatively, and mostly common means is that they will have their salary paid into a bank account which they can access when they wish. In addition, payslips can be collected at the Gawa at Kalinga office by the member themselves or a trusted friend.
  • Can I, as a Gawa at Kalinga current or future client visit their office for clarifications or complaints?
    • IRRI HRS will support you with the transition to this service provider through information sessions and registration days. There is no need for individuals to visit the offices of GK. The offices are not set up for such visits. Therefore, as part of IRRI policy, IRRI staff and spouses are not to visit the Gawa at Kalinga offices. For ongoing day to day interactions, with Gawa at Kalinga, email should be used and the HRS family support officer, (jennie.cobb@irri.org), copied on all emails. In situations where face to face meetings are necessary, the HRS family support officer will insure that appropriate meetings are scheduled, to discuss concerns.
  • What if my helper needs a loan?
    • One of the benefits of being part of the cooperative is access to low interest loans. Co-op members can avail of loans through Gawa at Kalinga and their performance in the savings program is the basis of the loanable amount in the loan program. The co-op has six different types of loans available for their members including;
      • Special loan (loanable amount P 2,000, plus P 100 processing fee, no interest loan)
      • Emergency loan (loanable amount: 75% of share capital and member’s fixed deposit, interest rate/month: 1.5%)
      • Multi-purpose Loan (loanable amount: 200% of savings deposit, interest rate/month: 1.5%)
      • Cell phone Loan
      • Appliance Loan
      • Motorcycle Loan
  • What type of insurance is available for my helper through Gawa at Kalinga?
    • Gawa at Kalinga have four different plans for insurance. One of the most commonly purchased insurance, by their members is accident insurance. This will be mandated and will pay on an installment basis (3 deductions)l at annual cost of Php800, although some households have generously shouldered this cost for their helper/service provider.
      • The principal (the member) has one dependent for this PAI (Personal Accident Insurance). If married, the immediate family member is the spouse. If single, the mother, father (not older than 60 years) or brother or sister under age 21.
      • Accident Coverage-IN & OUT of work; Emergency(ER) pay out Php 40,000
      • Motorcycle Accident pay out Php 40,000
      • Death Claim (accident) pay out Php 120,000
      • Cash Assistance on death (accident and natural) pay out Php 20,000
      • Burial Assistance (accident related death case only) pay out Php 20,000

file:///C:/Users/asiapro/Downloads/GawaatKalingaQAsheet_8Dec2016.docx

  • How do I pay Gawa at Kalinga?
    • GK accepts cash payments. For your convenience GK will come to your office to pick up payment from yourself or your secretary. Limited online options of payment are also available.
    • Bank transfers can be done with a local account. Contact GK for further information.

*Please note that this document is accurate as of Feb. 1, 2017.