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    Expanded maternity leave bill “transmitted to the president for signature”

    MANILA, Philippines – The Expanded Maternity Leave bill is finally on its way to become a law as it awaits President Rodrigo Duterte's signature.
    Expanded maternity leave bill “transmitted to the president for signature”

    The final copy of the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) bill has been transmitted to the Palace for Duterte's approval, as confirmed by one the bill's author today, Thursday.

    Expanded maternity leave bill “transmitted to the president for signature”
    Duterte’s signature is the last step to make the 100-day maternity leave to become a law | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Presidential Communications

    On Facebook, former DIWA Party-list lawmaker and now Justice Undersecretary Emmeline Aglipay-Villar posted the status of the bill.

    "This was two years ago after I sponsored and defended the expanded maternity leave (EML) law on the House floor. Now the enrolled bill of the EML law has been transmitted to the president for his signature. 🙏🏻 Malapit na malapit na!"

    Under the EML, working mothers are granted a 105-day paid maternity leave with 7 days transferrable to fathers. An additional 15 days are even given to single mothers. Mothers can even extend their leaves for up to 30 more days but will be unpaid.

    The expanded benefits apply to all instance of pregnancies, removing the 4-pregnancy cap. It will also cover all women workers from the government and private sectors.

    Expanded maternity leave bill “transmitted to the president for signature”
    The measure is expected to benefit both employers and employees | Photo Courtesy: Pixabay

    The bill will replace the current maternity leave of 60 days for normal childbirth and 78 days for cesarean delivery.

    The Philippine Commission on Women believes that the measure will help both employees and employers. Mothers will have enough time to recuperate and care for her newborn while businesses will have reduced unemployment and absenteeism rate.

    In October last year, the congressional bicameral conference approved the final version of the law.

    The passing of the bill has been lauded by women's groups such as Gabriela and Breastfeeding Pinays, calling it a significant move to promote women's reproductive rights.

    Akbayan Representative Tom Villarin called the bill “historic, groundbreaking, and long overdue.” He hopes Duterte will finally enact the bill, Villarin said, “It is now up to the President whether or not he will sign into law a measure that is good for the mothers’ and babies’ health, better for the economy, and best for women workers’ rights.”

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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