Palawan supports bill extending maternity leave period

The Provincial Board has their support to the proposed extended maternity leave bill for female workers from 60 to 120 days.

The proposed bill or Expanded Maternity Leave Act of 2017 was passed by the Senate on third and final reading on March 5, with 22 affirmative votes.

Board Member Eduardo Modesto Rodriguez, who authored the measure in the Provincial Board, said 60 days are not enough for women to recover from the rigors of pregnancy and childbirth.

“Mas maaalagaan ang mga baby, mas magiging mahaba ang bonding period at mas maalagaan sila ng maayos dahil sa haba ng time,” he said.

Rodriguez said that the proposed House Bill should not be far behind the number of maternity leave days that is offered by Republic Act No. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act, which gives 150 days with pay to solo parents.

All women workers regardless of their civil status or legitimacy of the child should be granted 120 days paid leave and an option to extend up to 30 days without pay, he said.

He added that when it comes to parental leave policies, Southeast Asian countries lag behind other nations worldwide, with the Philippines and Malaysia ranking low, offering only eight weeks.

“Sa ating kasalukuyang batas ay eight weeks lang or 60 days at kung ikukumpara natin sa ibang bansa tayo lamang ang mababa sa pag-grant ng maternity leave parehas ng sa Malaysia,” he said.

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