February 2, 2017
NANCY SEEKS EXPANSION OF MATERNITY LEAVES FROM 60 DAYS TO 120 DAYS
Senator Nancy Binay expressed her support for the expansion of maternity leaves from the existing 60 days to 120 days with pay.
"Para sa aming mga kababaihan, kulang na kulang ang 60 days na maternity leave, lalo na kung maselan ang pagbubuntis at panganganak," she said in a speech in the Senate Wednesday.
"That is why it is imperative that we, my colleagues in Congress, must work together and pass the proposed increase in maternity leave benefits from the existing 60 days to 120 days," Binay added.
The lady senator is a co-author of Senate Bill 1305, which is a consolidation of several bills seeking to expand the present number of allowed maternity leaves. Binay also filed similar bills in the 16th Congress.
SB 1305 gives all covered female workers in both the public and private sectors 120 days of paid maternity leaves, regardless of civil status or legitimacy of the child. The bill also gives them an option to extend for another 30 days of leave, but without pay.
A qualified solo parent under RA 8972, or the Solo Parents' Welfare Act, meanwhile, gets 150 days of maternity leaves with pay under the measure.
A female worker, under the proposed, can also allocate up to 30 days of her maternity leave to the child's father, whether they are married or not. In the abscence, death or incapacitation of the father, the 30 days may be allocated to an alternate caregiver who may be a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or the current partner of the female worker sharing the same household.
Binay lamented that at present, working mothers choose to work until the last three or two weeks before giving birth in order to maximize their leave benefits.
"Karamihan sa mga nanay ay pinipiling magtrabaho dalawa o tatlong linggo bago manganak. Ito ay upang magamit nang husto ang natitirang lima o anim na linggong maternity leave sa pag-aalaga sa kanilang anak at sarili," she said.
Binay added that the country falls short of the International Labor Organization (ILO) standard of 98 days of maternity leaves.
"Some countries in Europe have recognized that mother and child bonding deserve a longer time, and allowed a year with pay for them. Even the International Labor Organization (ILO) recognizes a longer standard of 98 days. Our country even falls short of the ASEAN coverage of 93 days of maternity leaves," the lady senator said.
Binay said that it is high time for the measure to be passed, as studies have shown that a longer rate of mother and child bonding has long term effects on the child's development and health.
"It pains me to see a mother cutting short the time to bond with her child and go back to work, especially during the crucial period of the infant's development," Binay said.
"Sabi nila, it takes a community to raise a child, kung kaya't marapat lamang na gawin natin ito sa Kongreso, bilang bahagi ng mas malaking komunidad, ang ating tungkulin na pangalagaan ang buhay at kalusugan ng ating mga anak, ang susunod na henerasyon,' she added.
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