MANILA -- The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday commended the passage of Republic Act 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Act.
In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said the enactment of the bill is timely for the celebration of the Women's Health Month.
The EML Act, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February 21, provides women additional economic support by ensuring that their 105 days of maternity leave are paid, regardless of economic and social background. Single mothers receive additional 15 days of paid maternity leave through the act.
"This is another noteworthy addition to the series of legislations that protect, promote, and support the health and nutrition of the Filipino family," he said, adding that the EML Act complements the recent passage of Republic Act 11148 or the Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Act.
The Kalusugan at Nutrisyon ng Mag-Nanay Law mandates the government to prioritize the nutrition of pre-pregnant, pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children.
"The DOH believes that when mothers and their families are allowed to recover physically and mentally from pregnancies and in welcoming newborns as new additions to their lives, they are able to participate in the economy much more effectively as healthy citizens, healthy workers, and more importantly, as healthy parents," the statement read.
The DOH said the EML also empowers men to take time to participate in helping their families thrive with the transferrable seven days from the 105-day leave period.
Duque said the law is an evidence of the government's effort to emphasize that "rearing healthy families involves teamwork among families, communities, and institutions, and that raising Filipino families should be inclusive among men and women".
“The DOH is thankful to President Rodrigo Duterte for signing this law that seeks to protect the welfare of working women and this is our gift to Filipino mothers all over the country,” he added. (PNA)