The Congressional bicameral conference has approved the final copy of the Expanded Maternity Leave bill and added five more days to the originally proposed 100-day leave. Female workers in private sectors and in the government can now enjoy a longer maternity leave to care for their newborns and recover their better health.
Rep. Emmi de Jesus of Gabriela shared that the said approval is a positive start of the party lists #PinkOctober campaign that promotes the health of Filipinas. The approval of the bill also proves that the plea to increase the maternity leave from 60 days has been heard especially that the international minimum standard of maternity leave is 98 days.
According to the panel who are tasked to reconcile House Bill No. 4113 and the Senate Bill No. 1305, the seven days out of the 105 days maternity leave can be allocated to the paternal leave. As for the solo mothers, they will be given an additional of 15 days paid maternity leave.
Once implemented, the law will mandate that the maternity benefits will be extended to every instance of pregnancy without any limit. The maternity leave can also be extended to an additional of 30 days unpaid leave.
The improved provisions also include penalties of at least P20,000 to employers who will not honor or confer the bill.
The current law allows only 60 days maternity leave for women who had a normal delivery and 78 days for those who had a cesarean section. Once the Congress has ratified the bill, it will be sent to President Rodrigo Duterte for his signature. The bill will then be officially a law.
Bagong Henerasyon Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy was the leader in the House, while Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros led the Senate counterpart.
Related: How to file a maternity leave