House Bill 4684, filed by party lists such as You Against Corruption and Poverty, Bayan Muna, Anakpawis and GABRIELA (General Assembly Binding Women for Reforms, Integrity, Equality, Leadership, and Action) pushes for equal opportunity for maternity leaves of government employees, regardless of whether they are single or married.
Unfortunately, the law’s current provisions do not allow such measures, which some lawmakers and government officials find discriminatory in nature.
Luzviminda Ilagan, one of the authors of the house bill and a Gabriela representative, stresses that the present maternity leave law “deprives both the unmarried woman and the unborn child of the protection they are entitled to.”
The law currently provides maternity leave benefits to pregnant women, according to RA 8202, also called the Social Security System Act, but only for those belonging to the private sector. These benefits are given to pregnant women regardless of their marital status.
Married women who work in government can avail of the maternity benefits provided they have at least three months’ worth of GSIS contributions within the 12-month period prior to childbirth, abortion or miscarriage. The employee also has to notify her employer of her pregnancy the soonest time possible and her expected due date.
Source: • June 29, 2011. “Bills seek maternity leave for unmarried pregnant gov’t workers” Ph.News.Yahoo.com • June 29, 2011. “Maternity leave for unmarried women in gov’t service pushed” Journal.com.ph • June 29, 2011. “Maternity leave sought for unmarried government employees” Sunstar.com.ph