MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said that the case of household helper Elvie Vergara was a “wake-up call” for the welfare of domestic workers in the country.

“As we continue to pursue our independent investigation and monitoring of the case, may the case of Vergara serve as a wake-up call for the need to reexamine and provide reforms in safeguarding our domestic workers in the country,” the CHR said in a statement on Friday.

According to the CHR, it will give financial assistance to Vergara, who suffered loss of vision and other injuries from alleged maltreatment under her employers France and Pablo Ruiz.

Her case also showed that domestic workers are vulnerable even in the Philippines, taking into account the country’s affirmation of the Domestic Workers Convention in 2011, said the CHR.

“This case reveals the vulnerability of domestic workers even in our own country. This is unfortunate considering that [the] Philippines is among the first countries to affirm the Domestic Workers Convention under the International Labour Organization Convention No. 189, which declares that domestic workers have the right to a safe and healthy working environment,” it added.

Currently, a Senate hearing is underway to investigate the case, along with a separate investigation of the CHR.


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