Fathers allowed maximum 30-day share of Expanded Maternity Leave

The Senate brings more good news for working mothers. The recently approved Expanded Maternity Leave Act, authored by Sen. Risa Hontiveros, allows the mother to share up to 30 days of her maternity leave to the father of the child.

Senate President Pro-Tempore Ralph Recto points out that the transfer of maternity leave credits is provided under Section 6 of the bill.

(Image Credit: Senator Risa Hontiveros FB page)

Describing it as the "best pasa-load app" ever invented, Recto said the "30-day pasa-load leave" can also be transferred to alternative caregivers including the "current partner sharing the same household", and the mother's next of kin or relatives up to the fourth degree of consanguinity.

More so,the bill does not require matrimony. That means, the mother can allocate 30 days of maternity leave credits to the father of the child, whether they are married or not.

This flexibility gives fathers more time to take care of their wives and new-born kids at a crucial stage in their lives.

Recto said, "Any step that lightens the burden for women, and lights the path for the full development of their being, benefits humanity."

The Senate passed on third and final reading Senate Bill 1305 or Expanded Maternity Leave Act by Senator Hontiveros on Monday, March 6. A lot of working women welcomed the news, since the bill doubles the maternity leave credits currently being granted under Republice Act 1161 or the Social Security Act of 1997.

From the previous 60 days (for normal childbirth) to 78 (for caesarian) days, the approved bill grants 120 days maternity leave, and 150 days for solo mothers.

According to Sen. Hontiveros, the Expanded Maternity Leave Act brings the Philippines closer to standards on maternity protection of other member countries of the International Labor Organization (ILO). The country happens to have one of the shortest maternity leave policies among ILO member countries.

Sec. Hontiveros, who is the Chairperson of the Committee on Women, was lauded by her peers for championing the landmark bill which benefits women in the workforce, as well as their families.

The Expanded Maternity Leave Act was approved via a 22-0 vote in the Senate. Hontiveros hopes the the counterpart bill in the House of Representatives will also be passed. She further appealed to congressmen to prioritize the bill over measures seeking to bring back the death penalty.
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