KALIBO, Aklan – The local government of Tangalan town in Aklan province capped Women’s Month with the implementation of its menstrual work-from-home privilege for local government workers.
Tangalan Vice Mayor Gene Fuentes told Rappler on Wednesday, March 29 that implementation started on March 1 for 96 municipal women workers.
However, municipal health officer Dr. Sarah Huyong said they still have to collate how many of the town’s women workers have applied for the privilege in the first month of implementation.
The local council passed Ordinance 2022-214 in November. The provincial legislature endorsed the “unique” ordinance in December.
The ordinance authored by Fuentes provides a two-day menstruation day privilege for all female town employees, whether under regular, casual, job order, or contract of service status.
It is not a holiday. Those eligible for the privilege will be given “output-based” goals for their work-from-home days.
Fuentes told Rappler that he drafted the original version of the ordinance in 2021.
“I have met several female employees who sometimes clamored that they could not go to work during their monthly periods. To address this, I drafted an ordinance for the work-from-home privilege,’ said the vice mayor.
Huyong said the privilege among women employees has so far proved productive.
“As a female employee, this ordinance makes me feel seen and valued. We appreciate Vice Mayor Gene who authored the said ordinance and our local leaders, who are mostly men by the way, for acknowledging the struggles that we experience during our monthly periods,” Huyong said.
Women can have pre-menstrual syndrome where they get severe headaches, abdominal pain, back and muscle pain, and mood swings.
“Female employees would sometimes file for sick leave because of this reason. Now that we have this ordinance that allows employees a two-day work from home, they can save their leaves and be productive at home instead,” the health officer said.
“We are also given monthly menstrual kits with a pack of sanitary napkins, a pack of panty liners, and a bottle of feminine wash. This is a big help, especially to our job orders who barely earn the minimum wage,” she added.
The Tangalan town in Western Aklan is a fifth-class municipality with 23, 704 residents.
Tangalan resident Leonardo Bantad Jr. expressed support for the ordinance.
“Women have played important roles in the government workforce. This ordinance is one way of acknowledging the importance of women, paying them respect, and treating them with dignity,” he told Rappler.
The ordinance mandates periodic checks to oversee workplace efficiency and make adjustments.
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