HOUSE Deputy Speaker Mercedes Alvarez hailed on Thursday, February 21, the signing of the expanded maternity leave act into a law which gives the working mothers a longer maternity leave.
Alvarez, who represents the Sixth District of Negros Occidental, said she is one of the principal sponsors of the measure at the lower house.
The new law gives working mothers 105 days or three months of paid leave, both in the government offices and private companies.
This can be extended to 30 days of leave without pay.
As for fathers, a total of seven out of the 105 days of leave may be transferred to them. This would expand the fathers' paid paternity leave to 14 days.
Solo working mothers would also get an additional 15 days of leave under the law for a total of 120 days of paid maternity leaves.
Alvarez said she is thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing the measure into law, acknowledging the importance of mother’s care for their newly born babies.
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.
“I’m very happy and grateful that another bill of mine has been signed into law. Our Constitution provides that the State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions, and facilities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation,” Alvarez said.
“Pregnancy is not only a momentous event in a woman’s life but it is also a time when she is most vulnerable. The early days of an infant are also vital and studies have shown that breastfeeding has long term health benefits. With the new law, mothers can recuperate and stay longer with their babies without having to worry of losing her income,” she added. (TDE)