A measure granting additional leave benefits for working mothers in both public and private sectors has been signed into law by President Duterte, Malacañang announced yesterday.
Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea confirmed the signing of the Expanded Maternity Leave Act that extends the paid maternity leave to 105 days for female workers. “Signed yesterday,” Medialdea said in a text message to reporters.
The new law provides 105 days of paid maternity leave to all working mothers and an additional 15 days to solo mothers.
Mothers will also have the option to extend for an additional 30 days of unpaid leave. The maternity benefits will apply to every instance of pregnancy.
The law also includes a provision allowing the allocation of seven maternity leave days to fathers, raising the paternity leave to 14 days from the current seven days.
Prior to the enactment of the law, women are allowed only 60 days of paid maternity leave.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo has allayed concerns that the new law expanding the paid maternity leave might push companies to hire men over women.
“Bawal ang discrimination sa atin. They will be held accountable for that,” Panelo said during a Palace press briefing. “Filipinos are family-oriented. These industrialists, businessmen will understand,” he added.
Panelo said they expect companies to follow the new law on expanded maternity leave for working mothers. He said companies have large profits anyway so they could afford such “social service” to their employees. “They have no choice. They will have to follow the law so you don’t incorporate because it’s in the law,” he said.
Former Special Assistant to the President Christopher Go lauded the signing of the expanded maternity leave law by the President. “Indeed, this new law ensures expectant working mothers enough time to ensure the best possible conditions for a healthy delivery,” Go said. (Genalyn Kabiling)