Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel yesterday said he expects the House of Representatives to pass his Bill 3401 after the election campaign.
Boy Santos
Expanded paternity leave also eyed
Jess Diaz (The Philippine Star) - February 23, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Following the enactment of a law extending maternity leave to 105 days, a Mindanao congressman is eyeing to lengthen paid paternity leave from seven days to 15 days.

Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel yesterday said he expects the House of Representatives to pass his Bill 3401 after the election campaign.

“We have to be more supportive of both mother and father during childbirth, so it is just a matter of time before Congress also increases the paternity leave benefit,” he said.

“We want to allow husbands to physically and emotionally support their wives during childbirth, and to experience early child-father bonding for a longer time,” Pimentel, a father of five, said.

He cited studies showing that husbands who took longer paternity leaves “were more involved with their children and child care activities,” thus reinforcing the long-term bond between father and child.

“There’s no question a lengthier paternity leave will go a long way in improving the Filipino family’s overall work-life balance,” he said.

He said in other countries, fathers enjoy up to 90 days of paternity leave with 80 percent of their regular pay.

Pimentel’s bill seeks to amend the Paternity Leave Benefit Law of 1996, or Republic Act 8187, which provides for a seven-day paternity leave. The late senator Ernesto Herrera authored the law, which also applies to a miscarriage, or the loss of pregnancy by the wife.

In batting for the swift passage of his bill, Pimentel invoked the mandates of the 1987 Constitution “for the state to promote the welfare of labor, solidify the family and provide improved quality of life for all.”

President Duterte has signed into law a bill extending paid maternity leave from 60 days to 105 days.

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