Press Release
March 8, 2019


Reelectionist Senator Sonny Angara said private companies need not worry about hiring female employees in light of the recently approved law extending the paid maternity leave to 105 days from 60, citing the strength of women workers that is good for business and the benefit of achieving gender equality in the workplace.

President Duterte recently signed the law extending the paid maternity--the legislation Angara co-authored and co-sponsored in the Senate--amid apprehension on the possible increase in cost employers may incur as a result of the new measure and fresh worries about the potential discrimination of women in hiring.

"It's the choice employers have to make, but at the end of the day they will lose out on the significant benefits from hiring women," Angara said, noting that female workers are "more detail oriented and conscientious" as opposed to their male counterparts. "Doon sila magkakamali kung sakaling magkaroon sila ng bias against women."

He added: "I don't think it's fair for companies to give preference to a male applicant even if his female counterpart is more qualified for the job, just because they want to avoid the cost of maternity leave benefit. That's discrimination."

Citing a study by the International Finance Corp., the senator from Aurora who is seeking a new six-year term under the platform "Alagang Angara," said that bringing in more female into the workplace helps promote women's rights which is a good business practice.

"The study showed that women improve productivity, adapt better to change and comprise a more stable work force," Angara pointed out.

He also cited a separate study by McKinsey Global Institute which showed that investing in initiatives that support women in the workplace is a "win-win" situation as both employers and employees obtain real benefits.

At least one-third of the companies that invested in these programs in emerging and developing countries improved their benefits and 38 percent expect earnings, according to the McKinsey study.

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.

The 150-day Extended Maternity Leave Law, he said, empowers not just mothers, but also their children as it gives utmost priority to their health.

"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," Angara said.

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