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100-day paid maternity leave hurdles House on final reading

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MANILA — The House of Representatives on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved on final reading a bill seeking to increase the paid maternity leave period to 100 days for female workers in the government and private sector.

With 191 affirmative votes, zero negative vote and no abstention, the lower chamber approved on third reading House Bill No. 4113, otherwise known as the 100-Day Maternity Leave Law.

The bill also grants mothers an option to extend for an additional 30 days their maternity leave without pay.

Present laws allow women who had normal delivery to take 60 days of maternity leave; and 78 days if by caesarian section.

House committee on women and gender equality chairperson Bernadette Herrera-Dy, sponsor of the bill, said the increase in the paid maternity leave to 100 days is a “historically significant” step.

House Bill 4113 will directly impact on our sustainable development goals by improving maternal and children’s health in just one move.

Herrera-Dy highlighted that the proposed measure also effectively allows additional paternity leave, noting that the bill provides that part of the maternity leave may be availed of by the spouse or the kin or the partner, who will help the working mother take care of her baby.

The bill also provides that Social Security System (SSS) members who have paid at least three monthly contributions in the 12-month period before the semester of their childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid their daily maternity benefit.

The Senate version has already been approved on third and final reading last year. (PNA)