THE EXPANDED MATERNITY Law was finally enacted after it was formally approved by Rodrigo Duterte last February 22.
The Gabriela Women’s Partylist (GWP) along with other progressive groups and personalities lobbied and campaigned for the said law for almost a decade. The law grants 105 paid days of maternity leave to expectant mothers. They are also granted the right to avail another month of leave without pay
GWP said that the passage is a product of their assiduous campaign, along with other groups, in recognition of the significant role of women in the economy. “This is a positive development in ensuring women’s rights to maternal health and job security,” added the GWP.
However, GWP warned that the said law must not be used to discriminate women workers. Only 2% of the total working women population get pregnant. In addition, majority of women workers are contractuals and thus denied their right to even the most basic benefits. In the service sector and factories in export processing zones, employers do not hire pregnant women workers. Even married women are not hired as they can get pregnant. More often than not, they are not re-employed after childbirth.