By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Risa Hontiveros on Sunday urged the House of Representatives to pass the expanded maternity leave bill for married and unmarried female workers as she assures that the measure would help spur the country’s economy.
Hontiveros made the call as she sought to allay employers’ concerns over the possible impact of granting 120 to 150 days maternity leave to pregnant employees.
“We have everything to gain and nothing to fear with this bill,” Hontiveros said in an interview with Radio dzBB.
“Precisely because there is a rich resource of data and information that show granting extended maternity leave to women workers resulted to more productivity and profitability for a company,” Hontiveros said.
The Senate has already passed its version of the bill before Congress went on a Holy Week break last March 15. But the Lower House has yet to pass its own version.
Once approved by Lower House, the bill would be handed to the bicameral conference committee that would thresh out the differing provisions of the bill.
After which, the bill would be sent to Malacañang to be signed by President Rodrigo Duterte.
Hontiveros said companies have nothing to worry about the measure as it would help them save further from the cost of retaining employees.
“If moms are given enough time to care for their babies, breastfeed them without having to worry about their jobs, then they would be more eager and productive when they go back to work. The whole family would benefit from this,” she said, stressing that the bill also grants a sufficient time for their spouses to avail sufficient days for paternity leaves.