Paternity Leave Extension Eyed after Maternity Law Victory

Manila Bulletin, February 22, 2019 | Go to article overview

Paternity Leave Extension Eyed after Maternity Law Victory


By Ellson Quismorio

Here is a potential reason for fathers to celebrate, according to Surigao del Sur 2nd district Rep. Johnny Pimentel.

Following the well-received new legislation extending to 105 days the paid maternity leave benefit for working mothers, Pimentel said Congress is expected to lengthen the paternity leave for fathers as well.

"We have to be more supportive of both mother and father during childbirth, so it is just a matter of time before Congress also raises the paternity leave benefit," said the Mindanao lawmaker.

"We want to allow husbands to physically and emotionally support their wives during childbirth, and to experience early child-father bonding for a longer time," Pimentel, a father of five, said.

Pimentel is author of House Bill (HB) 3401, which seeks to increase to 15 days the existing and rather measly seven-day paternity leave benefit payable to every working husband for each of the first four childbirths of his lawful wife with whom he is cohabitating.

"We have to give fathers at least half a month off work, with full pay, for them to be able to lend ample support to their wives in nursing their newborns, and to help mothers recuperate from childbirth," he stressed.

Pimentel cited studies showing that husbands who took longer paternity leaves "were more involved with their children and child care activities," thus reinforcing the long-term bond between father and child. …

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