Senate Bill 1305 of the Philippines: 120 Days Maternity Leave co-sponsored by Senator Risa Hontiveros

With 22 affirmative votes, the Senate on Monday passed on third and final reading a proposed bill increasing the number of days of paid maternity leave in the Philippines.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, who co-sponsored the bill, shared the good news on her Facebook page, saying the vote was unanimous from her colleagues and Senate approved today her 120-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Bill. “After 25 years, isang napakagandang regalo sa lahat ng mga kababaihan ngayong Women’s Month!”

Senate Bill 1305 by Senator Risa Hontiveros

She said the “new generation bill” seeks to respond to the pre and post-natal health needs of different working women and everyday realities faced by the modern Filipino family.

Senator Ralph Recto facilitated for the early signing of the bill senate bill 1305, otherwise known as the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Law, seeks to increase maternity leave from 60 days to 120 days, and an additional 30 days for solo working mothers.

The Batangas based Senator also said “The bill is past its due date. This should have been delivered a long time ago. On the macro level, longer maternity leaves do no harm to the economy. On the micro level, longer maternity leaves make both the baby and the mother healthy and happy” while explaining his vote.

The existing law provides that women workers may take a leave of 60 days with pay equivalent to 100 percent of their basic salary, allowances and other benefits.

Senate Bill 1305 Philippines by Senator Risa Hontiveros

On the other hand, compared to other Asian nations, the Philippines is lagging behind in maternity leave duration. Vietnam provides between 120 to 180 days, while Singapore gives 112 days of maternity leave. Then, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Thailand all provide a maternity leave period of 84 days.

Other Important Provisions of The New Generation Bill

  1. The full payment shall be advanced by the employer within 30 days from the filing of the maternity leave application.
  2. Workers availing themselves of the maternity leave and benefits must receive not less than 2/3 of their regular monthly wages.
  3. Employers from the private sector shall be responsible for payment of the salary differential between the actual cash benefits received from the Social Security System (SSS) by the covered female workers and their average weekly or regular wages, for the entire duration of the ordinary maternity leave, with some exceptions.
  4. Employees who avail themselves of this benefit shall be assured of security of tenure. This cannot be used as basis for demotion in employment or termination. The transfer to a parallel position or reassignment from one organizational unit to another in the same agency shall be allowed, provided it shall not involve a reduction in rank, status, or salary.
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