LEYTE Rep. Yedda Marie Kittilstvedt-Romualdez, Tingog party-list group first nominee, said yesterday the Expanded Maternity Leave Act should not be used as an excuse to discriminate against women in the workplace as she lauded President Rodrigo “Rody” Duterte for signing the measure into law.
“We should remain steadfast in fighting discrimination against women, especially our Constitution recognizes the role of women in nation-building and promotes equality for them,” said Romualdez, one of the authors of the new law.
Romualdez, a registered nurse who gave birth to her daughter Maddey on September 1, 2015 through a caesarian delivery, also congratulated her colleagues for approving the measure.
“We thank President Duterte for supporting the proposal that would definitely give ample time for mothers to nurture, take care and breastfeed their newborns for the first 100 days,” said Romualdez, who chairs the House Committee on Accounts.
The law seeks to grant the 105-day paid maternity leave for expectant working mothers in public and private sectors with an option to extend an additional 30 days without pay.
“This will provide better benefits to ordinary working women. It’s really difficult to recover, especially if the delivery is through caesarian. I can relate to this experience,” said Romualdez, a mother of four, adding that the proposal will help alleviate the issue of mothers leaving their babies for work.
The present law provides 60 days paid maternity leave for normal childbirth and 78 days for caesarian delivery.
Akbayan party-list Rep. Tom Villarin said the Expanded Maternity Leave Law is “a decisive win for women workers and social justice.”
“After 26 years of labor and birthing pains, women workers have successfully given life to a landmark legislation that upholds the rights, wealth, and health of our country’s workforce,” said Villarin.
“We look forward to the law’s immediate and full implementation so more Filipino families can avail of law’s health and economic benefits, as a matter of right,” Villarin added.