A THREE-TERM solon is pushing for a measure that extends and expands maternity and paternity leaves.
House “legitimate” Minority Leader Teddy Brawner Baguilat Jr., in his bill, underscored the need to extend the maternity leave from the present 60 to 75 days to 150 days.
Baguilat said the main purpose of the measure is to ensure the health of both mother and infant.
Aside from extended maternity leave, the bill also pushes for the expansion of the benefits to solo parent and to unmarried mother.
Citing Public Health Reports, Baguilat said that an increase in the length of paid maternity leave can reduce infant mortality by as much as 10 percent.
“Paid maternity leave also increases the likelihood of infants getting well-baby care visits and vaccinations and the rate and duration of breastfeeding, which is known to be very beneficial to the health of mothers and infants,” he said.
According to Baguilat, the current 60-78 days of maternity leave in the Philippines are below international labor standards on maternal protection that recommend a minimum of 14 weeks or 98 days of maternity leave.
“We have to do what we can to ensure the health of mothers and infants and promote child rearing, given that the family is the basic unit of our society. To strengthen the family is to ultimately strengthen our country,” he added.
Baguilat is urging Congress to extend to all mothers the benefits of the law.
Likewise, the bill seeks to extend the paternity leave to 15 days from seven days so that fathers can more fully enjoy being new fathers and provide more support to their wife or partner.
“This is part of providing the best possible care by both parents to their baby. Extending the paternity leave will also allow for the maximum recovery of the mother after birth and for the fathers to be able to maximize the joys of fatherhood and fulfill their role as partner of the mother,” he said.