Arroyos propose additional maternity and paternal leave benefits-A A +A
Saturday, June 2, 2012
FORMER President-turned-Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her son, Camarines Sur Representative Dato Arroyo, are pushing for additional maternity and paternity leave benefits in Congress.
“We should further promote the welfare of children and strengthen the Filipino family,” Dato Arroyo said.
Under House Bill 6128, the Arroyos seek to increase the maternity leave benefit from 60 days or two months to 120 days or four months, with an additional and optional 60 days to allow mothers to breastfeed their child for at least six months.
The Arroyos noted that this proposal is in accordance with United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (Unicef) and World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
The Unicef, in a recent report, revealed that the Philippines’ mortality rate -- its under-five mortality rate in particular -- ranked 86th out of 190 countries. The ranking, the agency said, means that 32 children per 1,000 live births die before the age of five.
The Unicef report cited several recommendations to reduce the country’s mortality rate, one of which is access to exclusive breastfeeding for a long period of time.
“This gives mother and child quality time for bonding while ensuring the child’s proper growth and development,” the lawmakers said.
As a fitting complement, House Bill 6123 provides the grant of a paternity leave of seven days with full pay to married male employees in the private and public sectors for deliveries of the legitimate spouse with whom he cohabitates.
The present law, The Paternity Leave Act of 1996, grants the same number of days for paternity leaves but is granted only to the first four births by the spouse. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)