The only remaining step before the Expanded Maternity Leave bill becomes law is President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.
The STAR/KJ Rosales
Just awaiting Duterte's signature, 105 days paid maternity leave close to becoming law
( - October 3, 2018 - 11:32pm

MANILA, Philippines — Congress has ratified on Wednesday the Expanded Maternity Leave bill that provides 105 days of paid maternity leave to working mothers.

The ratification comes after the bicameral conference committee approved it on Monday when it added five more days to the originally proposed 100-day paid leave.

The only remaining step before it becomes law is President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros hailed its ratification as "revolutionary" and "a historic victory for women."

Hontiveros said the last time that the number of paid maternity leave days was increased in the country was 26 years ago in 1992.

"This is truly historic and revolutionary. This is a massive victory for all Filipino women," she said.

"Now, we not only have a maternity leave policy that is at par with international standards, it also includes modern provisions to adequately respond to the everyday reality confronted by women and our families." 

The bill provides 105 days of paid maternity leave to all working mothers and an additional 15 days to solo mothers. There is also an option to extend for an additional 30 unpaid days.

Hontiveros explained that what makes the proposed law "revolutionary" is its "daddy quota" provision which allows the allocation of seven maternity leave days to fathers.

This increases paternity leave days of working men to 14 days from the current seven days.

"The idea behind the law is not only to give expectant mothers ample time to ensure the best possible conditions for a healthy delivery, recovery from childbirth and a stronger mother-child bond, it also recognizes the role of fathers in parenting and contributes to a more equal distribution of child care among Filipino families," the senator said.

There would be a penalty of at least P20,000 for the non-conferment of the expanded maternity leave to employees.

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