DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Gabriela Women’s Party-list welcomed the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulation (IRR) of the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Law, calling it “an important milestone marking the full implementation of the hard-fought additional benefits for expectant mothers.”
The group first filed the maternity leave bill in 2008 but failed to pass the Congress. It took ten years before the bicameral panel approved the bill in October 2018.
On February 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte signed the measure that extends the paid maternity leave to 105 days.
Rule V1, Section 1 of the IRR states: “All covered females regardless of civil status, employment status, and the legitimacy of her child shall be granted one hundred five (105) days maternity leave with full pay and an additional fifteen (15) days with full pay in case the female worker qualifies as a solo parent under Republic Act No. 8972 or the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2002.”
Aside from the 105 days of maternity leave, the new law also provides 30 additional unpaid days optional for mothers to avail.
Seven of the 105 days could also be transferred to the father on top of the existing 7 days paternity leave.
“In every Congress, GWP has always re-filed the bill pushing for expanded maternity leave in the country,” GWP representative Emmi de Jesus said.
De Jesus said it was not that easy to pass the measure, as many lobbied against it, including businessmen. She also said that it took a long process discussing it with the Social Security System (SSS).
Meanwhile, she noted while actively participating inside the Congress, they also contributed their efforts to more stakeholders including in the labor sectors doing their own initiatives in pushing for the measure.
De Jesus added that GWP asserted during the consultation for the IRR not to remove provisions that could reduce the benefits for female workers.
With the signing of the IRR, GWP stressed that companies will no longer have excuses in implementing the EML Law.
Failure to implement the law or refuse to comply with its provisions has corresponding penalties, the GWP added.
The group said they would work together with labor groups to continue to monitor the proper implementation of the law in workplaces.
Here is the full IRR of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law:
IRR RA 11210 (dated)