Women in PH Can Now Enjoy Expanded and Paid Maternity Leave, Palace affirms - BALITANG PINOY

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Women in PH Can Now Enjoy Expanded and Paid Maternity Leave, Palace affirms

Manila--This may sound good news to every women in the country as Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea affirmed on Thursday that Expanded Maternity Leave Act was now a law after being signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.

Medialdea said Duterte signed the law on Wednesday, Feb. 20, hitting its 30-day deadline.

According to him, the law grants 105 days of paid maternity leave to all working mothers in government & private sector with an option to extend their leaves for another 30 days without pay.

The law also left credits of 7 days transferable to fathers. There was also additional 15 days leave but not paid to single mothers.

Compared to the previous law wherein working mothers are entitled to 60 days of paid leave for normal delivery and 78 days for caesarean delivery, under the newly signed law, all instances of pregnancies are covered.

Risa Hontiveros, the author and principal sponsor of the Senate version of the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill was glad that finally working moms have more quality time with family and babies, especially during their crucial or early stage of development.

"The signing into law of Expanded Maternity Leave Act is a moment mothers, families, and children will not only remember, but a victory generations of Filipinos will reap the benefits of for the rests of their lives," she said.

"Now, mothers will have more time to rest from pregnancy. Children will be better fed. Fathers and caregivers can bond and create more lasting memories with their loved ones, as families everywhere received the greatest gift of all- time", she said further.

Hontiveros said the law addresses the lack of maternity leave days in the country which puts par with international standards. Through this, she said that it supported the evidence and practice consistent in improving maternity leave policy in PH.

Gabriela Women's Partylist, who actively pushes for the bill likewise welcomed the signing of expanded maternity leave and lauded women's groups' active campaign.

In a statement, the group congratulated every Filipina mothers after finally accomplishing the bill benefited for all women.

However, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, referring to labor alert issues said that the government is confident this will not result in discrimination against women in the hiring process.

"Filipinos are family-oriented. These industrialist businessmen, they will understand," Panelo said.

The EML bill passed Congress in October 2018 wherein Bicameral panel approved the measure, pegging its period to 105 days and was transmitted to the Palace on Jan. 21, 2019 for its signing.

The Palace said the copy of the signed measure is yet to be released.

-Aira May Dizon

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