Month-long paternity leave pushed in Senate

KD Suarez
Month-long paternity leave pushed in Senate
'Lengthening the paternity leave period would give the husband ample time to help in child care and assist in his wife’s recovery,' says Senator Francis Pangilinan, author of the bill

MANILA, Philippines – After filing a bill that seeks to extend maternity leave, Senator Francis Pangilinan is now pushing for a month-long leave for married male employees to give them enough time to help care for their newborn.

Pangilinan filed Senate Bill 963 on Monday, August 1, to amend Republic Act 8187 or The Paternity Leave Act of 1996.

The measure wants to extend the current allowable paternity leave period of 7 days to 30 days for all married male employees in the public and private sectors.

The bill also seeks to provide male employees additional unpaid leave benefits for all deliveries of their legitimate spouse, not just for the first 4 deliveries as currently mandated by RA 8187.

“Lengthening the paternity leave period and removing the cap on the number of deliveries would give the husband ample time to help in child care and rearing responsibilities and assist in his wife’s recovery,” Pangilinan said in his bill.

Citing an article in The Economist, Pangilinan enumerated the benefits of paternity leaves to the Filipino family.

Pangilinan said fathers who go on paternity leave are more likely to take an active role in childcare tasks.

Paternity leave is also supposedly beneficial to women’s careers as child care responsibilities are shared between the father and the mother.

Pangilinan added that early interaction between the father and child has a long-term positive impact on the child’s learning abilities.

In the 16th Congress, former Albay Representative Edcel “Grex” B. Lagman filed a similar bill, seeking to extend the paternity leave to 15 days – 15 days shorter than Pangilinan’s proposal. –

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