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[UPDATED] President Duterte signs law expanding maternity leave to 105 days

Hooray! Bill Sent to the Palace, Maternity Leave in the Philippines is about to expand to 105 days

Author: Paula Panganiban

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a law extending paid maternity leave to 105 days, Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said.

Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo expressed belief that the measure would not prompt employers to hire more male workers than female.

“You know, the additional maternity leave number of days as well as the benefits, that will only lessen the profits. The employers have big profits, so its going to be part of their social service,” Panelo said.

More power for women? 

The presidential spokesman also  urged  employers to abide by the law without the need to incorporate them in their respective corporate rules and regulations or human resources code.

The measure recognizes women’s maternal function as a social responsibility.

“This will provide them with ample transition time to regain health and overall wellness as well as to assume maternal roles before resuming paid work,” it read.

The law  complements sections 17 and 22 of Republic Act 9710, also known as The Magna Carta of Women, which provides for women’s rights to health and work.

The law will take effect after 15 days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

What’s in store for mothers?

The new EML bill will give mothers an extended maternity leave of 105 days. This is 45 more days than the previous 60 days (or 2 months). For solo mothers, an additional 15 days of maternity leave are given, which would total  to 120 days of leave (that’s 3 months).

Mothers are also allowed to transfer 7 more days of maternity leave to fathers, that double paternity leave from 7 days to 14.

It also provides a 30-day paid leave for adoptive parents, whether  they are male or female. Another additional benefit is giving women the right to take on an extra 30-day leave (after a 105-day leave), although it is unpaid.

The EML bill also strengthens the law that termination or firing on the basis of maternity is unethical and illegal.

If the president does not act on the transmitted draft after 30 days, it will automatically lapse into law.

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