Under House Bill (HB) No. 4113, also known as the 100-Day Maternity Leave Law, employees of Philippines will also have an option to extend their maternity leave by another 30 days without pay. The bill which will affect both the government and the private sector is now making its way through the House of Representatives of the Philippines, one of two lawmaking arms of the country's government.
The House has already passed the measure on its second reading and will now await the third reading, following amendments, where it can be approved, and then combined with a separate version that has gone through the Senate of the Philippines. This will be done by a committee staffed by members of both the House and the Senate.
Once the House and the Senate resolve any conflicts between the two documents, the final bill will be presented to Filipino president Rodrigo Duterte, who can then sign it into law.
Currently, Philippines has a 60-day maternity leave but is regarded as extremely inadequate by Congressman Antonio Tinio.
While the House bill is seeking 100-days paid leave, the Senate version of HB 4113 seeks a longer paid maternity leave of 120 days. And was also approved on its 3rd and final reading in March 2017.
Unlike the House bill, which does not increase fathers’ seven-day paid leave, the Senate Bill 1305 seeks a 30-day paid leave for fathers as well.
While countries like the United Kingdom allows up to 52 weeks of paid maternity leaves, Asian countries seem to be lagging behind. Hong Kong provides only ten weeks with only 80 percent pay, Malaysia has minimum 60 consecutive days of maternity leave and South Korea has 90 days of paid leave. Countries like Singapore, Australia and India are, however, providing relatively more maternity leaves, 16 weeks, 18 weeks and 26 weeks, respectively. Interestingly, Vietnam extends 6 months of leaves with full pay and an additional 30 days for multiple births. But even these countries lag behind many European countries.
However, Asian countries are also slowly catching up the pace and striving to create better policies for working parents.