Women’s Groups Urge PH to Make Maternity Leave Longer

Several women’s groups are urging the Philippine government to make the country’s maternity leave longer at par with its Southeast Asian neighboring countries.

In light of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, several women’s groups are urging the Philippine government to come up with a longer maternity leave, making its maternity leave law at par with its Southeast Asian neighbors.

During a press conference participated by several women’s groups which include the Akbayan-Women, IndustriAll, NAGKAISA-Women and Partido Manggagawa, female workers are urging the Philippine lawmakers to come up with an Expanded Maternity Leave Bill, which will provide 120 days of paid maternity leave days and an additional 30 days for single parents.

In a statement claimed by IndustriALL Spokesperson, Shirley Yorong, she claimed:

"It is gravely disheartening that even as the Philippines is the Chair and host of the ASEAN this year, our country has long fallen behind our ASEAN neighbors in the area of competent maternity care,"

IndustriALL Spokesperson, Shirley Yorong

So far, under the existing law of the Philippines, new mothers are entitled to take 60 calendar days of paid leaves. Meanwhile, those who undergo caesarian section deliveries are entitled to a 78 days of maternity leave.

Apparently, this pales in comparison to Philippines’ other Southeast Asian neighboring countries which provides around 100 days of paid leaves.

For instance, Vietnam provides 120 to 180 days of maternity leave, depending on the employees’ working conditions and nature of work. Meanwhile, Singapore grants 112 days of maternity leave.

The 31st ASEAN Summit and other related meetings was held on November 13 to 17 here in the Philippines where ASEAN leaders were gathered in Manila and Clark, Pampanga.

Aizelle Joe