HOUSE leaders rallied behind the swift approval on second reading of a proposed law seeking to grant 100-day maternity leave with 30-day extension for those pregnant women working in public and private sectors.
Reps. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt Romualdez of Leyte and Emmeline Aglipay-Villar of the Democratic Independent Workers’ Association party-list, hoped the House leadership would be able to prioritize the passage of the measure when Congress resumes session on Jan. 16.
“The swift passage of the proposal is very important to many women who are about to give birth. This is a very important measure that deserves the support of Congress. This would definitely give ample time for mothers to nurture, take care and breastfeed their newborns for the first 100 days,” Romualdez, one of the principal authors of the measure, said.
The proposed measure increases the maternity leave of pregnant worker from 60 days to 100 days, with 30-day extension without pay.
Romualdez said the bill, once enacted, would provide better benefits to ordinary working women.
“It is really difficult to recover, especially if the delivery is through caesarian, I can relate to this experience,” said Romualdez, a mother of four and who gave birth to her daughter Maddey through caesarian delivery.
For her part, Aglipay-Villar, chairman of the House committee on women and gender equality, said the House leadership had the full backing of the pro-women measure that had been approved at the committee level.
The House committee on women and gender equality endorsed the measure for plenary consideration.
For their part, Reps. Raneo Abu of Batangas and Robert Barbers of Surigao del Norte also supported the measure.
“Considering the challenges of traveling with our current traffic situation, especially for the expectant and new mothers in the major cities of the country, I fully support the timely bill,” Abu, a deputy speaker, said.
“This bill should provide those mothers with ample transition time to regain health and overall wellness as well as to assume their maternal roles before resuming full-time work,” he added.
Barbers said the proposed expanded maternity benefits should be given to women who just gave birth.
“I will support the expanded maternity benefits as this will give due protection to our women, especially the working pregnant...who have to contend with the challenges of bearing children up to delivery and post pregnancy,” Barbers said.