House approves on 2nd reading bill granting 100-day maternity leave

Mara Cepeda
House approves on 2nd reading bill granting 100-day maternity leave
Under House Bill No. 4113, employees have an option to extend their maternity leave by another 30 days without pay

MANILA, Philippines – The House of Representatives on Tuesday, August 28, passed on second reading a measure that seeks to grant a 100-day paid maternity leave to both government and private sector workers.

Under House Bill (HB) No. 4113 or the 100-Day Maternity Leave Law, employees have an option to extend their maternity leave by another 30 days without pay. 

Lawmakers gave their nod to the bill through viva voce voting or a vote of ayes and nays. Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera Dy, chairperson of the women and gender equality committee, sponsored the bill at the plenary.

The Senate version of HB 4113, approved on 3rd and final reading in March 2017, seeks a longer paid maternity leave of 120 days. Unlike the House bill which does not increase fathers’ 7-day paid leave under Republic Act No. 7322, Senate Bill 1305 seeks a 30-day paid leave for fathers.

Should HB 4113 be approved on third reading, the bicameral conference committee members from both the House and the Senate must reconcile conflicting provisions of the bill before President Rodrigo Duterte can sign it into law. (READ: Duterte backs longer maternity leave)

What are the provisions of the bill? HB 4113 grants the 100-day paid maternity leave to a pregnant female worker regardless of her civil status, legitimacy of her child, and whether she gave birth via caesarian section or natural delivery. 

The maternity leave would also be granted to female employees in every instance of pregnancy, miscarriage, or abortion, regardless of its frequency.

The maternity leave also cannot be deferred, but it should be availed of by the woman either before or after the actual period of “delivery in a continuous and uninterrupted manner.”

Section 13 of HB 4113 guarantees security of tenure of the mother who would avail of the maternity leave, and bars her company or government agency from demoting or firing her for taking her maternity leave. 

What are the other benefits? Here are the other benefits a mother may enjoy under HB 4113:

  • A female member of the Social Security System (SSS) who has paid at least 3 monthly contributions in the 12-month period immediately preceding the semester of her childbirth or miscarriage shall be paid her daily maternity benefit. This would be computed based on the average monthly salary credit for 100 days.
  • Female workers in the private sector under maternity leave must receive not less than two-thirds of their regular monthly wages.
  • Employers of female workers in the private sector must be responsible for the salary differential between the actual cash benefits received from SSS and their average weekly or regular wages, for the entire duration of the maternity leave.
  • HB 4113, if passed into law, should not diminish the existing maternity benefits granted by the employer with or without collective bargaining agreements or under present laws, “if more beneficial to the female employee.”

– Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or tweet @maracepeda.