“Ang Expanded Maternity Leave Bill ay hindi lamang para kay nanay, pwede din kay tatay.”
This was the statement issued on Tuesday by Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros in response to questions whether the paid paternity leaves of working men can also be increased.
Hontiveros, who chairs both the Senate Committee on Women and Senate Committee on Health, filed Senate Bill 215 otherwise known as “The Expanded Maternity Leave Act” to double women workers’ maternity leave from the current 60 days to 120 days, with extra 30 days for solo mothers, for a total of 150 days.
The Senator said that fathers can avail of the benefits of the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Law. She called this the “Daddy quota” of the proposed measure.
“The idea behind the bill is not only to give expectant mothers ample time to ensure the best possible conditions for a healthy delivery, recovery from childbirth and stronger mother-child bond, it also recognizes the role of fathers, adoptive parents and alternate caregivers, and contribute to a more equal distribution of child care among Filipino families,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros said that 30 days of the proposed 120-day maternity will be alloted to alternate caregivers (spouse, common-law partner, relative up to the 4th degree of consanguinity). Adoptive parents are also included.
“Parenting is a collective effort, and pregnancy is both a delicate and precious time. Pregnancy and child care is not the responsibility of women alone. Fathers and other alternate caregivers deserve the opportunity to create meaningful memories with their partners as they welcome and nurture their children,” Hontiveros said.