Gov’t urged to prioritize maternity leave with pay

May 15, 2023 Camille P. Balagtas 191 views

For women in informal sector

A SOLON insisted that maternity leave for women should be given importance and “priority” by no less than the government.

In a public hearing of the Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, Monday, May 15, 2023 presided by Senator Risa Hontiveros, the panel tackled several bills, including Senate Bill (SB) No. 148, or the Maternity Benefit for Women in the Informal Economy Act, which she authored.

In the five years after the Expanded Maternity Leave Law was passed, Hontiveros said that while many women in the formal economy have benefited greatly from the law, there is still a “large swathe” of women workers who do not enjoy the same maternity benefits, especially those from the informal sector.

“This proposed bill (SB 148) aims to provide a maternity cash benefit worth the daily minimum wage times 44, or the minimum wage of two months. The money will be sourced from sin taxes,” the deputy minority leader said in Filipino.

Hontiveros added that the proposed measure seeks to benefit women sellers and traders in the streets and wet markets, cleaning service workers, home-based workers, and farmers, to name a few.

“Enacting this measure into law is very important. It is estimated that there are 250,000 Filipino women in the informal economy that gives birth every year. The impact [of the law] will be significant for them,” she added.