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    Lawmakers seek 30-day paternity leave, to include “common law” partners

    MANILA, Philippines – Several lawmakers are seeking the extension of the paternity leave for up to 30 days.

    While families rejoiced with the recent approval of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, working fathers are left with wanting more. Working mothers can now spend more quality time to recuperate and take care of their newborns for up to 105 paid leaves.

    Lawmakers seek 30-day paternity leave, to include “common law” partners
    Working dads would benefit if the 30-day paternity leave would be passed | Photo Courtesy: Kiko Pangilinan

    However, following Republic Act 8187 or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996, working fathers are still entitled to 7 days of paid paternity leave. Under the EML, an additional of 7 days maybe transferred to fathers, giving them a total of 14 days paid leaves.

    READ: Duterte finally signs into law the Expanded Maternity Leave

    Lawmakers are now eyeing the possibility of granting additional leaves for working dads.

    Senators Joel Villanueva, Francis Pangilinan, Nancy Binay and Surigao del Sur Rep. Johnny Pimentel have filed separate bills to push for a law to extend the number of days for paternity leave.

    Senator Joel Villanueva's authored Senate Bill No. 1064 or the Parental Leave Act of 2016 which seeks to grant 15 paid parental leaves every year. It also extends the benefit not only to biological and legal fathers but also includes “to a person other than the parents, who takes care of the child.”

    Under the proposal, at least 2 working days for each minor child but shall not exceed 10 working days shall be given for each parent or legal guardian.

    "I believe that the introduction of parental leave to both fathers and mothers will promote gender equality, and I know that we all agree that fathers also have caring responsibilities. Magkatuwang po talaga dapat ang mag-asawa sa pagpapalaki ng kanilang mga anak," Villanueva said.

    Several more bills have been submitted to add more paid paternity leave.

    Senate Nos. 963, 1063 and 1209 all seek to provide a paternity leave equal to 30 working days for the first four deliveries of legitimate or common-law spouse to every male employee, regardless of employment status, married, or common-law relationship.

    Another related bill was also submitted by Senator Ralph Recto that seeks to grant 3 days paid leave to working parents or legal guardians to attend school-related activities.

    — Sally, The Summit Express

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