AYNLA: Passage of Expanded Maternity Leave Bill is a gift for Filipino families
The Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates (AYNLA) believes that the passage of the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill, which is scheduled to be deliberated in Congress, is a policy gift for Filipino families.
AYNLA believes that a pillar to nation building is a strong and well-functioning family. Paid parental leaves are designed to strengthen society by providing them enough time for families to lay down the foundations around childbirth and child rearing. Extending maternity leave has economic and social advantages. Studies show that parental leave significantly encourages parents to be productive citizens by returning to their previous jobs instead of escaping labor force or spending a long time finding a new job.1,2
AYNLA Executive Director Kristine Mae Fernandez emphasizes that the bill will encourage mothers to continue breastfeeding, which must be continued until the age of two.3 Breastmilk enhances the immune system of babies preventing deadly diseases and improving health and wellbeing, while the act itself fosters the bond between the mother and the baby.
President Reigner Jireh Antiquera strongly believes “It is high time for the Congress to pass this measure. It will not only improve the health of the mothers physically, but also mentally by preventing or reducing the stress during and around childrearing.”
The current law only allows 60 days of maternity leave, which is far below from the neighboring ASEAN countries. In Vietnam, maternity leave may reach up to 180 days, while Singaporeans enjoy a 6-week (112) paid leave. The proposed legislation would like to extend the paid maternity leave from 60 to 120 days, and up to 150 days for single moms.
While the extension of maternity leave is a welcome development, AYNLA appeals to the legislators to examine the policies around paternal leaves. The nursing group believes that childbirth and childrearing is a very fulfilling but painstaking endeavor especially among starting families. The presence and support of the father is critical.
(Photo Credits: WLRN.org via Google Images. Retrieved 26 February 2018)
1 Eileen Appelbaum and Ruth Milkman, “Leaves That Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California,” Center for Economic and Policy Research (2011), http://www.cepr.net/documents/publications/paid-familyleave-1-2011.pdf; Charles L. Baum II, “The Effects of Maternity Leave Legislation on Mothers’ Labor Supply after Childbirth,” Southern Economic Journal, 69 (4) (2003), http://www.jstor.org/stable/1061651.
2 Joyce P. Jacobsen and Laurence M. Levin, “Effects of intermittent labor force attachment on women’s earnings,” Monthly Labor Review, Bureau of Labor Statistics (1995), http://www.bls.gov/mlr/1995/09/art2full.pdf; Lynda Laughlin, “Maternity Leave and Employment Patterns of First-Time Mothers: 1961–2008,” U.S. Census Bureau (2011), http://www.census.gov/prod/2011pubs/p70-128.pdf
3 World Health Organisation, “Infant and young child feeding,” Media Centre Retrieved 24 February 2018, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs342/en/