Lawmaker seeks 15 days’ paternity leave

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Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel wants to double the mandatory paid paternity leave benefit being enjoyed by all married male employees.

Pimentel filed House Bill (HB) 3401, which seeks to raise to 15 days the seven-day leave a husband can avail. Male employees are allowed to file for a paternity leave for four childbirths of his lawful wife.

HB 3401 seeks to amend RA 8187, or the Paternity Leave Benefit Act of 1996.

The 20-year-old law authored by the late Sen. Ernesto Herrera also applies to a miscarriage.


In batting for the speedy passage of his bill, Pimentel invoked the Constitution that mandates the State “to promote the welfare of labor, to solidify the family, and to provide improved quality of life for all.”

“We have to give fathers at least half a month off work, with full pay, for them to be able to lend ample support to their wives in nursing their newborns, and to help mothers recuperate from childbirth,” Pimentel, a member of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc. (PLCPD), said.

He cited studies showing that husbands who took longer paternity leaves “were more involved with their children and child care activities,” thus reinforcing the long-term bond between father and child.

“There’s no question an extended paternity leave with full pay would go a long way in restoring the family’s overall work-life balance,” he said.

Pimentel also supports proposals in the House of the Representatives and the Senate to increase the maternity leave for working mothers from 60 days “to at least 100 days.”

He noted that a number of the country’s largest employers, including Accenture Inc., already provide their female employees 120 days paid maternity leave benefit.

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