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Hontiveros hails ratification of 105-day maternity leave bill: Pirma na lang ni Duterte kulang!

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The proposed expanded maternity leave bill is both “revolutionary” and a historic victory for women.

This was how Senator Risa Hontiveros described the Senate’s ratification of the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill that provides 105 to 120 days of maternity leave to all working mothers.

Hontiveros, author and principal sponsor of the law, said that the passage of the measure is 26 years in the making.

“This is truly historic and revolutionary. This is a massive victory for all Filipino women,” she said.

She noted that the last time that the number of paid maternity leave days was increased in the country was in 1992 or 26 years ago.

“Now, we not only have a maternity leave policy that is at par with international standards, it also includes modern provisions to adequately respond to the everyday reality confronted by women and our families,” she said.

Hontiveros, vice chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health, said that the bill provides 105 days of paid maternity leave to all working mothers and an additional 15 days to solo mothers.

However, Hontiveros said that what makes the law “revolutionary” is the “daddy quota” provision that allows the allocation of 7 maternity leave days to fathers, thereby increasing the paternity leave days of working men to 14 days from the current 7 days.

“The idea behind the law is not only to give expectant mothers ample time to ensure the best possible conditions for a healthy delivery, recovery from childbirth and a stronger mother-child bond,” she said.

It also recognizes the role of fathers in parenting and contributes to a more equal distribution of child care among Filipino families, she said.

“Parenting is a collective effort, and pregnancy is both a delicate and precious time,” she said.

Pregnancy and child care are not the responsibility of women alone, the senator said.

“Men deserve the opportunity to create meaningful memories with their partners as they welcome and nurture their children,” Hontiveros said.