Baguilat pushes extended maternity, paternity leave

>> Monday, October 10, 2016

IFUGAO Rep. Teddy Brawner Baguilat has filed a bill seeking to extend the maternity leave of female employees in the government and private sector to 150 days from the current 67-78 days, to promote long-term health and well-being of both the mother and the child.
Citing public health reports, Baguilat said increase in length of paid maternity leave can reduce infant mortality by as much as 10 percent.
“Paid maternity leave also increases the likelihood of infants getting well-baby care visits and vaccinations, and the rate and duration of breastfeeding, which is known to be very beneficial to the health of mothers and infants,” added Baguilat.
Current 60-78 days of maternity leave in the Philippines are below international labor standards on maternal protection that recommend a minimum of 14 weeks or 98 days of maternity leave, he said, thus the push to extend the paid maternity leave for employees to 150 days.
“We have to do what we can to ensure the health of mothers and infants and promote child rearing, given that the family is the basic unit of our society. To strengthen the family is to ultimately strengthen our country,” said Baguilat.
This is also why he is pushing for the inclusion of single mothers in the maternity leave bill plus adoptive mothers, and even to mothers in long-term relationships but not married. 
“These benefits should be extended to all mothers, regardless of their circumstance. It is but just to do so,” said Baguilat.
Baguilat, recently elected chair of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc., said the extension of the maternity leave was just among the many legislative measures that he seeks to file as part of efforts to strengthen the family and society.
 Baguilat is also seeking extension of paternity leave to 15 days from seven days, so that fathers can more fully enjoy being new fathers and provide more support to their wife or partner.
“This is part of providing the best possible care by both parents to their baby. Extending the paternity leave will also allow for the maximum recovery of the mother after birth and for the fathers to be able to maximize the joys of fatherhood and fulfill their role as partner of the mother,” Baguilat said.
Baguilat hopes that his colleagues in Congress will see the measure as a vital piece of legislation that must be passed soon. 
“There are no losers in this bill, only winners,” said Baguilat.


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