Ramon V. Del Rosario College of Business
The recent enactment of Republic Act No. 11210, otherwise known as the “105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law,” on February 20, 2019 was well applauded by women’s groups and their supporters. The Philippine Commission on Women welcomed the signing of the law as a “gift for Filipino women and families” as it “recognizes and acknowledges women’s vital role and contribution to the labor force, while giving them the opportunity to exercise their unique reproductive role.”1 The Gabriela Women’s Party lauded the passage of the law more than ten years since they filed the original bill in 2008 “as a significant move in ensuring women’s right to maternal health and in upholding the security of tenure of pregnant workers”. Senator Risa Hontiveros, principal sponsor of the bill in the Senate, hailed its signing as a “big victory for women and families”. Meanwhile, Representative Pia Cayetano, principal sponsor of the bill in the Lower House, hailed the passage of the law as an “acknowledgement of the dual role of women in society: as members of the work force and as mothers.”
Nonetheless, there had also been a few expressions of misgivings.
In a survey conducted by the Employers Confederation of the Philippines immediately after the passage of the law, 31% of 118 respondents claimed that the new law will affect their hiring decisions for the following reasons: (a) the long maternity leave is disruptive to the operations and planning for the company, (b) the cost implications caused by the expanded maternity benefit and the hiring and training of temporary replacements are high, (c) the company’s productivity will decline and be compromised due to the long absence of the employee, and (d) the comparatively larger adversarial effect to female-dominated micro and small enterprises. The Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry echoed these findings with the observation that “the business sector cannot help but worry over the impact of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law on costs and productivity”.
Salcedo, E. (2019). The folly of the expanded Maternity Leave Law., 7 (1) Retrieved from https://animorepository.dlsu.edu.ph/res_cbrd/8