MANILA- (UPDATE) The House of Representatives on Tuesday approved on third and final reading the proposal to increase the number of paid maternity leaves.
Voting 191-0-0, lawmakers passed House Bill 4113 which seeks to increase the number of days of maternity leave to 100.
This is 20 days short of the Senate's version of the bill, which proposes 120 days of maternity leave, and an additional 30 days for solo working mothers.
Women's party Gabriela Rep. Arlene Brosas hailed the passage of the bill at the House, saying she will push for the upper limit of 120 days in the bicameral conference committee.
"Pagkilala ito sa produktibong papel ng kababaihan sa ekonomiya at pagtataguyod ng kanilang karapatan sa maternal health na laman ng Konstitusyon," she said.
(This is a recognition of the productive role of women in the economy as well as their rights to maternal health which is provided by the Constitution.)
Under the existing law, new mothers are allowed 60 days of paid leaves while those who undergo Caesarean deliveries are entitled to 78 days of maternity leave.
This pales in comparison to other Southeast Asian countries which grants around 100 days of paid leaves.
The House and the Senate still have to reconcile their versions of the bill before it can be submitted to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing into law. -with a report from RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News