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Co-Sponsorship Speech: Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017

February 1, 2017

Co-Sponsorship Speech of Senator Loren Legarda
Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017
Senate Bill No. 1305, Committee Report No. 29
1 February 2017 | Senate Session Hall

Mr. President,

Article 13 Section 14 of the 1987 Constitution provides that the State shall protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into consideration their maternal functions.

It is in this light that I lend my support for and co-sponsor the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Law.

This landmark measure aims to increase the maternity leave of female employees in both the public and private sector and thus fully comply with international labor standards on maternal protection, which recommends a minimum of ninety eight (98) days of maternity leave.

Under the said measure, the number of days of paid maternity leave shall be raised to one hundred twenty (120) days for all workers—whether private or public sector employees, with the option to extend for an additional thirty (30) days without pay.

Moreover, in the case of solo parents who qualify under the Republic Act No. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act, the paid maternity leave shall be for one hundred fifty (150) days.

This is a multi-pronged measure on improving maternal healthcare, reducing child mortality, and promoting breastfeeding.

It is also an important women empowerment measure because when mothers are given enough time to recuperate from childbirth and care for their newborns, they feel more fulfilled as mothers, which will definitely affect their emotional well-being, give them more confidence, and allow them to be prepared again to embark on a more challenging role of being working mothers and equal partners of men in nation-building.

For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to lend their valuable support so we can ensure the swift passage of this measure.

Thank you, Mr. President.