House Approves Bill Extending Paid Maternity Leave

The bill seeks to extend paid maternity leave from 60 to 100 days.

PHOTO BY House of Representatives of the Philippines Facebook Page

(SPOT.ph) The House of Representatives approved House Bill No. 4113, also known as the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill, on its third and final reading on Tuesday, September 4. The bill seeks to extend the government-mandated paid maternity leave for female workers in both the government and private sector to 100 days. Currently, Republic Act 7322 (which was signed into law in 1992) allows female workers 60 days paid leave in case of normal delivery, and 78 days in case of caesarian delivery.

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In a statement dated September 4, Sen. Risa Hontiveros, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, lauded the recent passage of the house bill, calling it "a historic victory for women." She says that the country's current 60-day maternity leave lags behind that of other ASEAN countries: Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand, and Indonesia currently have 90 days for their maternity leave; Myanmar has 98 days; Laos and Brunei has 105 days; Singapore has 112 days; and Vietnam has the longest maternity leave period at 180 days.

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The Senate version of the bill (which Sen. Hontiveros co-authored and filed) was approved in March 2017, and proposed a paid maternity leave extension of 120 days. Now that House of Representatives' version has been passed, the proposed law will be deliberated by the bicameral conference committee, after which the final version will be signed into law by the president.

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