MANILA

Duterte signs into law expanded maternity leave

(SunStar file)

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has signed into law a measure expanding employed women's maternity leave to 105 days from the current 60 days.

This was confirmed by former special assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go in a text message sent to Palace reporters on Thursday, February 21.

"[Duterte] has just signed the Expanded Maternity Leave bill into law," Go said. "Indeed, this new law ensures expectant working mothers enough time to ensure the best possible conditions for a healthy delivery."

Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said the President signed the measure into law on Wednesday, February 20.

The Palace has yet to release a copy of the newly-signed law.

Sought for reaction, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he was confident that employers would understand that working mothers deserve the expanded maternity leave.

"'Yung dagdag ng maternity leave and benefits, that will only lessen the profit. Eh ang laki naman talaga ng profit ng employers (Additional maternity leave and benefits will only lessen the profit. Employers have big profits). That should be their social service," Panelo told a press conference.

"Ang mga Filipino (The Filipinos are) family-oriented. These industrialists, businessmen will understand," he added.

The final version of the measure granting additional maternity leave benefits to working mothers was approved by a congressional bicameral conference committee in October 2018.

The law guarantees all working mothers with 105 days period of paid maternity leave credits, seven days of which are transferable to fathers. This raises paternity leave days of working men to 14 days from the current seven days.

It also grants an additional 15 days to single mothers.

Working mothers may opt to extend their leave for an additional 30 unpaid days.

Prior to the enactment of this law, women workers were entitled to 60 days of paid leave for normal delivery and 78 days for cesarean delivery.

A penalty of around P20,000 for the non-conferment of the expanded maternity leave to employees would be imposed. (SunStar Philippines)


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