The Senate on Monday, March 06, approved on third and final reading a bill which seeks to expand the maternity leave to 120 days with 22 affirmative votes and zero negative votes.
Under Senate Bill No. 1305, or the “Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017”, all female workers regardless of civil status or legitimacy of her child shall be granted 120 days maternity leave with pay and an option to extend for another 30 days without pay.
Meanwhile, solo parents shall be granted a total of 150 days maternity leave with pay.
The measure also grants fathers 30 days leave, who under Republic Act 7322, are granted only seven days of paid leave.
Thirty days of the proposed 120 day maternity leave are transferrable to alternate caregivers such as the spouse, common-law partner, and relative up to the fourth degree of consanguinity, including adoptive parents.
Violators of the proposed law would be penalized with a fine not less than PHP5,000 nor not more than PHP20,000 and imprisonment for not less than six years and one day nor not more than 12 years or both.
The bill was authored and sponsored by Senator Risa Hontiveros, Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, and Senator Juan Edgardo Angara.
It was also co-authored by Senators Francis Pangilinan, Loren Legarda, Nancy Binay, Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Trillanes IV, with Legarda and Binay as the bill’s co-sponsors.
Hontiveros said the measure would bring the country closer to compliance with the International Labor Organization’s (ILO) standards on maternity protection, a field where Philippine law is alarmingly inadequate.
The Philippine maternity leave law only provides 60 days paid leave which is five weeks short of the minimum prescribed under the International Labor Organization’s Convention 183 which mandates a minimum of 98 days maternity leave.
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