DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Lawmakers on Tuesday urged the two House of Congress to conduct a congressional bicameral conference committee for the speedy enactment of House Bill 4113 or better known as the 100-day maternity leave law.
In a statement, ACT Teachers Representatives Antonio Tinio and France Castro said the bicameral meeting would reconcile the provisions of the bill to that of Senate’s version which proposes a 120-day extended maternity leave.
The bicameral committee is composed of members of the House of Representatives and the Senate. Lawmakers voted for the approval of HB 4113 on its 3rd and final reading on Tuesday, September 4.
ACT’s Tinio said the bill’s approval has been long overdue.
“The bill had already gone through long and adequate study by both Houses in the past Congresses, which included the inputs of all concerned sectors, especially women workers and employees who will benefit from the law,” he said.
The bill guarantees sufficient maternal protection of working women employees both in public and private sectors through longer paid maternity leave, he said.
“A longer maternity leave is a constant concern in our public consultations. With a short time for maternity leave for teachers, the health and welfare of the newborn and the nursing mother and the quality of education for their students may suffer,” Tinio added.
Meanwhile, Castro viewed both motherhood and child-rearing as part of the country’s nation building, citing studies that highlighted the adequate maternity leave benefits the nursing mother and the newborn, and will even contribute to the maintenance of a healthy workforce in the long run.
“It is only imperative that the government increases the days of maternity leave from 60 days (normal delivery) up to 78 days (caesarian operation) to 100 days in order to comply with the international standard of 98 days under the International Labor Organization’s Maternity Protection Convention 183,” she said.
“Teachers, together with women workers in the public and private sectors, demand the legislative and executive branches of government to act for the immediate enactment of this measure. We call on President Duterte to sign as soon as this bill is passed by Congress,” Castro ended.
Both the ACT lawmakers are co-authors of the bill seeking to grant a 100-day paid maternity leave. (davaotoday.com)