Catholic schools want power to dismiss unwed mothers or employees

Catholic institutions are seeking exemption from a law that does not allow them the right to enforce disciplinary action on unwed students or employees, according to a report by Inquirer.net.

Republic Act 9710, or the Magna Carta for Women, signed into law by Pres. Arroyo on Aug. 14, bans the dismissal of unwed mothers from schools or employment. However, at the national convention of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP) being held Sept. 16 to 18 at the Manila Hotel, CEAP's national president, Monsignor Gerardo Santos, said: "It is important that we respect the religious affiliation of these institutions, the schools, or company the persons [concerned] belong to."

Women's rights activists on the other hand said that under the new law, unwed mothers who are kicked out can file a civil case and sue for damages while government officials who dismiss them can be sanctioned under administrative and civil service laws.

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