It'll take just one final push for the country to have its maternity leave law updated.
On Monday, March 6, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1305 or the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Law.
SB 1305 seeks to increase the maternity leave to 120 days. The bill also grants an additional 30 days to single working moms, making their maternity leave entitlement 150 days.
"SB 1305 got 22 affirmative votes," reported GMA News Online.
The report likewise noted: "Senator Risa Hontiveros, sponsor of the measure, pointed out that the last time the number of maternity leave was increased was 25 years ago or in 1992."
For his part, Senate President pro tempore Ralph Recto called for the early signing of the measure. He remarked, "This bill is past its due date. This should have been delivered a long time ago."
Recto added, "On the macro level, longer maternity leaves do no harm to the economy. On the micro level, longer maternity leaves make both the baby and the mother healthy and happy."
The existing law grants only a 60-day maternity leave for women who give birth via normal delivery, and a 78-day maternity leave for those who give birth via C-section. The current policy is less than the minimum 98-day leave required by the International Labor Organization (ILO).
As a CNN Philippines report had pointed out: "Compared to other Asian nations, the Philippines is lagging behind in maternity leave duration. Vietnam provides between 120 to 180 days, while Singapore gives 112 days of maternity leave. Then, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, and Thailand all provide a maternity leave period of 84 days."