LAWMAKERS and labor groups have called on the House of Representatives to pass a measure extending paid maternity leave from 60 days to 100 days.
Reps. Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela party-list, Bernadette Herrera of Bagong Henerasyon party-list, Teddy Baguilat of Ifugao and Tom Villarin of Akbayan party-list made the call with the Public Service Labor Independent Confederation and Partido Manggagawa with six session days left before the House takes a break from March 22 to May 15.
The expanded maternity leave covers all female workers in government and private sector, including those in the informal economy, regardless of civil status or the legitimacy of the child. Likewise, the expanded maternity leave measure provides that it can be availed either before or after the actual period of delivery in a continuous and uninterrupted manner.
“The maternity role of women is distinct, and the government should recognize such distinction that women have maternity health needs. This is not about discouraging employers from hiring women, but asserting women’s rights. This bill should be passed now,” de Jesus said in a news conference on Monday.
“Under this measure, employers cannot refuse to hire women or fire them based on this expanded maternity leave benefit. This bill is not about sidelining women, but making them more productive in the long run. Women with children will be more motivate to go to work knowing that they have a child to raise,” de Jesus said of House Bill 4133 that has been gathering dust at the plenary for more than a year.
Under existing laws, the paid maternity leave for women who gave birth under normal delivery is 60 days while those who underwent caesarean section are entitled to 78 days. LLANESCA T. PANTI