Two militant lawmakers on Saturday urged concerned agencies to hasten the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations for the expanded maternity leave benefits that was recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
“We urge the agencies concerned such as the Department of Labor and Employment, the Civil Service Commission, the Social Security System and other stakeholders to hasten the drafting of the IRR for the urgent implementation of the law. This social legislation is what the women need and not the other anti-people and anti-poor priority bills the government is pushing,” ACT Teachers Reps. Antonio Tinio and France Castro said.
The two lawmakers also lauded the enactment of the “long-overdue” clamor of women to expanded maternity leave.
“As principal authors of the expanded maternity leave, we are grateful that finally after the long wait, it is now a law. The expanded maternity leave bill in the lower house has gone through a very tedious journey, the bill was first introduced in 2010, it was refiled in 2016, then the plenary deliberations took almost a year before the approval in second reading, then almost a month for third reading approval until the signing into law before the lapse of the 30-day period,” Castro said.
“We filed and pushed the enactment of this law because the previous maternity leave period is inadequate, and in fact among the shortest maternity leave in the world. This law will make our maternity leave compliant with international standards on maternity protection,” Tinio, for his part, added.
Castro said the law is needed as she believes there is a dire need for an additional maternity leave especially to the ranks of teachers where majority are women.
“We urge the Department of Education to ensure that there is an allotted fund for hiring of substitute teachers to relieve teachers who will have a maternity leave,” Castro said.
She also appealed to the agencies involved not to delay the drafting of the implementing rules to enable the law’s implementation at the soonest possible time.
“The urgent release of the [Implementing Rules and Regulations] will benefit as many women and infants as possible especially the poor,” Castro said.