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It is still three weeks before Congress resumes session on January 20 but Senator Risa Hontiveros is raring to file more measures to address national concerns.

The Senate on December 18 adjourned its session for the holidays.

“This year was tough, but Filipinos are tougher. We have achieved so much, pero tuloy-tuloy ang trabaho,” Hontiveros said recently.

“Sa 2020, dadamihan pa natin ang mga batas na talagang tutulong sa bawat pamilyang Pilipino,” said Hontiveros, chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, and Family Relations.

For the 18th Congress, she filed a total of 48 Senate bills, including the Strengthened Anti-Hospital Detention Bill, and 22 Senate resolutions covering various issues and advocacies, including urging immediate assistance to rice and sugar farmers and the protection of indigenous communities.

She noted the passage of landmark laws for women’s rights and better health services such as the Expanded Maternity Leave Law which expanded working Filipinas’ paid maternity leave from the original 60 days to 105 days.

“It is now the policy of the State to give mothers our due. Mas makakapagpahinga mula sa panganganak, mas maaalagaan si baby”, Hontive

“Mula sa pagiging kulelat sa Southeast Asia sa bilang ng paid maternity leave days, tayo na ngayon ay pumapangalawa, kasunod ng Vietnam,” she said.

In July this year, the Philippines also passed the Bawal Bastos Law or the Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act which penalizes gender-based harassment and abuse in public spaces.

“2019 is the year we say goodbye to boy bastos,” said Hontiveros, who served as the law’s principal author and sponsor.

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