Senate approves longer maternity leave, including ‘daddy quota’

Senate approves longer maternity leave, including ‘daddy quota’

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The Senate on Wednesday ratified the proposed Extended Maternity Leave bill that would provide 105 to 120 days of paid maternity leave for working mothers in both government and private sector.

Under the proposed law, 105 days of paid maternity leave will be given to all working mothers.

Of the 105, seven days are transferable to fathers in what is called a “daddy quota.”

An additional 15 days would be given to solo working mothers, for a total of 120 days of paid maternity leave.

Meanwhile, mothers also have the option to extend for an additional 30 days of unpaid leave.

These provisions would apply to all instance of pregnancies.

Under the current law, women are only allowed 60 days of paid maternity leave and the maternity leaves are limited to four pregnancies.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, main author and sponsor of the bill in the Senate, hailed the ratification of the Extended Maternity Leave law as a “truly revolutionary and historic victory for women.”

”This is a massive victory for all Filipino women. 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,” Hontiveros said.

In the present 60-day maternity leave policy, the country lags behind Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia who has 90 days each, Myanmar has 98 days, while Laos and Brunei have 105 days.

Singapore and Vietnam top the list with the best maternity leave policies in the region at 112 days and 180 days, respectively.

Hontiveros said the law not only gives expectant mothers ample time to ensure the best possible conditions for a healthy delivery, recovery from childbirth and a stronger mother-child bond, it also recognizes the role of fathers in parenting.

She said this so-called “daddy quota” is what makes the bill revolutionary.

“Parenting is a collective effort. Pregnancy and child care are not the responsibility of women alone. Men deserve the opportunity to create meaningful memories with their partners as they welcome and nurture their children,” she said. (PNA)

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