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Gabriela bats for increased maternity leave to help ensure women and child health
Press Release Posted on February 6th, 2012.
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan 0920-9213221 Jang Monte 0917-4049119
“Increasing maternity leave benefits from 60 days to 120 days will give mothers the chance to fully recover after childbirth. It will give mothers the opportunity to nurse and care for their newborn and will help promote maternal and child health.”
Thus said Gabriela Women’s Party Representative Luz Ilagan as the House of Representatives Committee on Women and Gender Equality tackles today HB 1800 “An Act Increasing Maternity Leave Benefits from Sixty (60) Days to One Hundred Twenty (120) Days or Four Months, Amending for the Purpose PD 442 as amended by RA 7322.”
“We cannot discount the fact that the health situation in the country has been turning from bad to worse with primary healthcare becoming costly and inaccessible to many poor women and their families. This is further aggravated by the meager budgetary allocation and the privatization of government hospitals. Increasing maternity leave benefits will help give women respite from the high cost of healthcare,” said Ilagan.
The Gabriela solon also said that compared to our neighbors, the Philippines grants the least maternity leave benefits for women.
Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Indonesia all grant 90 days of maternity leave benefits. Myanmar and Singapore give 84 days of maternity leave benefits while Vietnam gives 120-180 days of maternity leave benefits.
Developed countries like UK, Norway, Canada and France give a minimum of 180 days to as much as 480 days of maternity leave benefits. “The challenge now for legislators is to ensure that the Philippines is at par with our neighbors in giving importance to maternal and child care.”