House bill filed extending 60-day maternity leave to 120
By Maila Ager
First Posted 13:18:00 04/29/2008
MANILA, Philippines — A bill extending the maternity leave benefits for women from the current 60 days to 120 days was filed Tuesday at the House of Representatives.
House Bill 3973 known as “An act increasing maternity leave benefits from 60 days to 120 days or four months” was initiated by Gabriela Women’s Partylist Representatives Liza Maza and Luzviminda Ilagan.
“Extending the period for maternity leave will not only give mothers the opportunity to fully recover, it will also give them the chance to breastfeed infants during the first four months,” Ilagan said in a statement.
What do you think of this house bill? I’m all for it! Those extra days will make a huge difference in a mother’s bonding with her child — more breastfeeding time, more bonding time. It’s great that more attention is being given to maternity health care. I hope that when the the bill is passed (note: WHEN not IF!), there will be corresponding SSS benefits and just as important, support from employers. I don’t see myself becoming a stay-at-home-mom anytime soon, so this bill would create such a favorable, positive impact for working Moms like me.
How do they do it in other countries? Sweden grants either parent a 16-month parental leave. I’m not sure if parents can opt to split the 16 months, but isn’t that great? You get to spend the first year of your baby’s life with him without the worries of work getting in the way. (Note: To read more about Sweden, click here.) Italy grants up to 5 months of leave, France goes for 16-26 weeks, UK up to 52 weeks, Canada up to 35 weeks (which can be split between either parent). Read more about paid maternity leaves around the world here and here.
Not all the months are fully paid by the employer or Social Security, but the amount of time you spend bonding with your newborn is priceless.
Moving forward. Do note that the article was dated April 2008. It’s been a year since this article has been published. I hope action is being taken to bring this bill forward!
I’ve never really thought about this intently, as I’ve never been a Mom till now, but it all really makes sense. I can’t bear the thought of leaving my son when he’s two months old in the care of another person just yet. While I’m confident that I’ll have my family and friends to help me, there will definitely be a stronger struggle leaving a two month old at home versus leaving a four month old.
The above countries cited are all very much developed, and perhaps that could be one reason why they place a premium on parental health care. However, I believe that steps should still be taken to promote better parental health care no matter what state one’s country is in.
What are your thoughts? What are your experiences with paid maternity leave? Is 60 days enough? What’s paid maternity/parental leave like in the country you live in?
Credit: Images from stock.xchg