Expanded maternity leave to hurt women's chance of getting hired: businessman

Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 03 2018 06:40 PM

Pregnant women wait at the CSV Maternity and Lying-in Clinic in Quezon City, October 02, 2018. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Companies could choose to hire more men instead of women if the expanded maternity leave is enacted into law, a business group chief said Wednesday. 

The Expanded Maternity Bill seeks to grant 105 days of paid leave to all working mothers.

If the bill is enacted into law, the number of employed women might also decrease in the next 5 years, Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) acting president Sergio Ortiz-Luis said in a press conference.

“Kung makalulusot 'yung bill... kung ikaw ay employer, may diperensya ka kapag nag-hire ka ng babae. Eh di ang hihire-in ko ay lalaki. ‘Di nagle-leave yun eh," Ortiz-Luis said. 

(If the bill passes and you're the employer, you have a problem. I would hire men. They won't file for a maternity leave.)

"At the end of the day they didn’t think it through. Sino mag-hihire sa mga babae? (Who will hire women?). Lalong mawawalan ng trabaho ang mga babae (they will lose jobs)," he added. 

He said the bill won't greatly affect the businesses as the Social Security System (SSS) would shoulder payment for the paid maternity leaves.

However, it may prompt the SSS to petition for an increase in contribution, Ortiz-Luis said. 

The pension fund would need a boost of about P4 billion to P5 billion to cover the expanded maternity leave benefits, SSS president Emmanuel Dooc said Monday. 

The bicam-approved version of the measure will be submitted to the Senate and House of Representatives for ratification. It will then be submitted to the President who is expected to sign it into law.