women's health

Proposed menstrual leave in PH draws mixed reactions online

Christa Escudero
Proposed menstrual leave in PH draws mixed reactions online
Those who struggle with menstruation laud the proposal, while some point out it may lead to further discrimination against women at work

On Wednesday, March 22, Gabriela Representative Arlene Brosas filed House Bill No. 7758, a proposal to grant paid menstrual leave of at most two days per month to employees both in the public and private sectors.

“There is a need to provide women with the flexibility and support they need to manage their reproductive health without the fear of negative consequences such as losing pay, falling behind in work, or facing disciplinary action,” Brosas said.

A similar bill, House Bill No. 6728, was filed by Cotabato 3rd District Representative Samantha Santos last January.

“The enactment of this bill will allow women to attend to the hormonal and physiological difficulties that they have to endure at least on a monthly basis,” Santos said. 

“Menstrual symptoms are not something that can be ignored – for some women, the pain can be debilitating and the ability to focus on work all but vanishes,” she added.

Countries like Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Spain have enacted laws that grant menstrual leaves for people in the workplace.


Many users online lauded the proposed menstrual leave, especially those who struggle during menstruation.

“For women with dysmenorrhea, this is very much needed. Hope this will be approved,” said one Twitter user.

Dysmenorrhea is the medical term for menstrual cramps or pain experienced during one’s menstrual period. More than half of people who menstruate experience pain for up to two days each month, according to the National Nutrition Council.

Many were also quick to call out former senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, who took a jab at the bill.

“My wife suffers from endometriosis. A no-cure illness that brings unimaginable pain during menstruation,” one user commented on Lacson’s post on Facebook, asserting that menstruation was not a “scapegoat reason” for women to earn “me time.”

However, many users also pointed out that the proposal, if enacted, may lead to further discrimination against women in terms of employment.

Both bills by Brosas and Santos stipulated a clause prohibiting businesses to discriminate against the employment of women in order to avoid following the law. The bills also included penalties for any violations.

Some offered other options to allow reprieve for menstruating people, such as more sick leaves and more work flexibility.

In 2022, the province of La Union implemented a “menstruation privilege” policy that allows female employees in the provincial government to work from home two days a month.

Tangalan town in Aklan also passed an ordinance in the same year granting the same work-from-home privileges to those suffering from menstruation.

What do you think about the proposed menstrual leave? Share your thoughts and tag us on Twitter at @rapplerdotcom. – Rappler.com

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Christa Escudero

Christa Escudero is a digital communications specialist for Rappler.