Five female lawmakers have called on their colleagues to press for the approval of House Bill 6399 granting a maternity leave of 100 days with pay.
Representatives Emmi de Jesus and Luzviminda Ilagan of Gabriela, and Lani Mercado of Cavite, along with former President Gloria Arroyo of Pampanga, are seeking the refinements in Republic Act 8282 through the House measure.
The measure was endorsed for plenary approval by the House committee on women and gender equality chaired by Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica of Bulacan.
De Jesus, one of the bill’s authors, said the beneficiaries would get full pay based on their average weekly or regular wages, whether child delivery is through normal or caesarian.
“In addition, a maternity leave of 30 days without pay can be availed of,” she said.
Under the measure, an employee in the private sector who would avail herself of the maternity leave period and benefits must receive not less than two-thirds of her regular monthly salary.
On the other hand, the employer must be responsible for the salary differential between the actual cash benefits received from the Social Security System and her average or regular wages, for the entire duration of the ordinary maternity leave.
“The bill seeks to ensure maternity protection is not only a pay back to women but also enhances gender equality as mandated in the Constitution and the Magna Carta of Women,” said Ilagan, a co-author.
Revilla, also a bill author, stressed the importance of maternity as a vital social function played by women and the need to protect their rights, especially those who are employed, and that of their infants to proper health.
The bill, if passed, would ensure security of tenure to female employee and exercise of this option shall not be used as basis for demotion in employment or termination and transfer to a parallel position or reassignment from one organizational unit to another in the same agency.
The Government Service Insurance System and the SSS would be tasked to immediately conduct a review of the maternity leave benefits of women employees in the government service and the private sector, respectively.
The measure’s co-author was Arroyo, along iwth Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao, Las Piñas City Rep. Mark Villar, ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio, Trade Union Congress of the Philippines Rep. Raymond Democrito and Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr.