Press Release
February 22, 2019


Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara said the Philippines has proven once again that it is one of the best countries for women, particularly mothers, with the enactment of the bill providing for a 105-day maternity leave to female workers both in government and private sectors.

"We are proud to be one with many countries around the world in recognizing the importance of mothers and in upholding the rights of every woman," Angara said after President Duterte signed into law the expanded maternity leave bill, which he co-authored and co-sponsored in the Senate.

Angara said the new law, which increases the maternity leave period to 105 days from 60 to all female workers in the government service and the private sector, was in recognition of the important role of women, especially mothers, in nation-building.

"Because all women, especially mothers, are important to the nation, this measure is but a simple sign of our gratitude for the sacrifices and hardships they've endured in nurturing each of us," Angara pointed out.

The senator also hailed the enactment of the expanded maternity leave measure as a "historical win for women, particularly mothers--and hence of the country as a whole."

Angara strongly believes that paid maternity leave could be a critical factor in women's empowerment by enabling mothers to support themselves while raising their children.

He said the expanded maternity leave law empowers not just mothers, but also their children.

"Here we have proof, through the actions of both houses of Congress, that our society greatly values every woman's right to safeguard not just her health, but also the health of her children," Angara explained.

"For with a longer maternity leave period, we give our mothers adequate time and opportunity to ensure the proper nutrition, nourishment and nurturing of their children--especially when they themselves are going through the process of recuperation," he added.

Angara said the new law would complement the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act which, among others, protects the rights of working mothers to breastfeed.

"We've mentioned before how a longer maternity leave increases the chances for a mother to breastfeed her children--an activity which many studies have proven to have long-term benefits not just for the child or the mother, but for the society-at-large as well," Angara said.

"This is but only one instance of where lengthening maternity leave benefits actually helps in safeguarding the nation's future."

In 2017, the Philippines placed 10th in the ranking of the Global Gender Gap report, making it as the most gender equal country in Asia.

The report, released by the World Economic Forum (WEF), ranked 144 countries based on 4 categories: labor force participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.

In 2011, the Philippines was named as the best place in Asia for women based on a report released by Newsweek magazine.

The country ranked 17th overall in the magazine's "The Best and Worst Places for Women," which analyzed 165 countries on five areas that affect women's lives: treatment under the law, political power, workforce participation, access to education and access to healthcare.

The Philippines garnered an overall score of 86.3 out of 100, and is the only Asian country to be included in the Top 20.

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