Pia grateful to President Duterte for support

A few days before the upcoming mid-term elections on May 13, senatorial candidate Pia S. Cayetano expressed her gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for his show of support for her bid to return to the Senate. 

“Napakahalaga ng endorsement ng ating Pangulo. It has a great impact and it is very personal to me,” the congresswoman said in a radio interview in Davao City on Thursday (May 9).

Cayetano shared that her close relationship with the President dates back to the first time she ran for Senate in 2003, during which she sought the support of the then Davao City Mayor, who was also friends with her late father, former Senator Rene Cayetano.

“[President Duterte] had always supported me as a senator. I also used to visit him in Davao to seek his advice on relevant issues, and he would share with me his perspective as a mayor,” Cayetano noted. 

“Kaya tuwing sinasabi niya na maayos ang trabaho ko, it really means a lot to me dahil alam kong alam niya ang aking trabaho,” she added.
President Duterte had expressed his support for Cayetano’s senatorial bid on several occasions, stressing that the lady lawmaker has legislated “so many good things for the Filipino people.”

He also said that it was Cayetano who asked him to sign into law the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Act for the benefit of working mothers. Cayetano was among the proponents of the bill in Congress.

“The President knows that I am happy with the enactment of this landmark measure. I am very grateful that he appreciates my work for Filipino women,” the Taguig representative said.

“If given the chance, I will continue to look for more solutions to address the concerns of Filipino families throughout the country,” Cayetano concluded. #

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano thanking President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing into law the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Act. #

Expanded Maternity Leave best Labor Day gift for working moms

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano on Wednesday (May 1) welcomed the full implementation of the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Law, following the signing of the measure’s Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) on May 1, Labor Day. 

The principal author and sponsor of Republic Act No. 11210 or the EML Law, Cayetano attended the Ceremonial Signing of the IRR in San Fernando, Pampanga, where she talked about the vital role of women as mothers and as members of the country’s workforce.

“Women play a dual role in our society, hindi lang trabaho sa opisina kundi trabaho sa bahay at pag-aalaga ng pamilya. Therefore, being a mother is something that we need to compensate,” the congresswoman stressed.

The ceremonial signing was part of the 117th Labor Day Celebration spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), with the theme “Pagpupugay sa Manggagawang Pilipino.”

“Magandang balita ito dahil ibig sabihin ay tuloy na tuloy na and ready to be implemented ang Expanded Maternity Leave Law. This is a great gift to working mothers this Labor Day,” Cayetano said.

On the other hand, the Taguig representative clarified that the law’s effectivity already started as early as March, 15 days following its publication in the Official Gazette.

“The good news is, hindi lang May 1 ang effectivity kung hindi noong March pa. Kaya sa lahat po ng mga nanay na nanganak simula noon, 105 days na ang maternity leave credits niyo,” Cayetano explained.

A known women’s advocate, Cayetano had been fighting for the law’s passage since her term in the Senate. 

She believes that working mothers should be allowed more than 60 days to recover from childbirth and also to take care of their newborn babies.

“Women who are given enough time to take care of their families are also more likely to be productive at work. Kaya ibigay na natin sa mga working mothers ang 105 days maternity leave para pagbalik nila ay mas makapag-focus sila sa trabaho,” she noted.#

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano (in pink) applauds the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, of which she was the principal author and sponsor.

Pia welcomes news about release of Extended Maternity Leave Act IRR

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano expressed her excitement over news that the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) of the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Law will be issued in time for this year’s Labor Day celebration.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently announced that it would be releasing the IRR of the newly enacted law on May 1. 

“I am very excited to hear that the IRR for our landmark measure will finally be released on Labor Day,” said Cayetano, who was the principal author and sponsor of the measure in Congress.

“A lot of mothers have been messaging us and asking us whether they can already avail of the maternity leave benefits provided by the law. Now, we can inform them that they can do so because we already have an IRR,” she added.

The President signed the EML or Republic Act 11210 in February, granting working mothers 105 days of paid maternity leave credits, among other specified benefits. 

A known advocate of women’s welfare, Cayetano had been fighting for the measure’s passage since her term in the Senate, when she sponsored the bill as former chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality.

“Hindi naman madali sa mga babae na maging working mother. Kaya kailangan ay bigyan natin ng sapat na pagkakataon na maka-recover ang mga nanay at maalagaan ang kanilang mga baby bago sila bumalik sa pagtatrabaho,” she noted. 

With the law’s IRR now in place, Cayetano said all new and expecting mothers working in government and private offices, as well as those belonging to the informal sector, can now fully avail of the expanded maternity leave benefits, provided that they are members of SSS. 

“That’s why I am encouraging all working mothers, especially those who are self-employed like market vendors, to contribute to SSS so that your pregnancy will be covered by the law,” the congresswoman stressed.#

Pia reveals ‘3 gifts’ for women on Int’l Women’s Day

Good health, free choice, and equal opportunities.
These are the three ‘gift’ every Filipina deserves to receive and enjoy, senatorial candidate Pia S. Cayetano said on the occasion of International Women’s Day, March 8.

“Dahil espesyal ang araw na ito, gusto kong ipaabot sa bawat Pilipina ang tatlong mahahalagang regalong ito: Gift of Health o Kalusugan, Free Choice o Malayang Pagpili, at Equal Opportunities o Patas na Pagkakataon,’ Cayetano said in a speech delivered in a mix of Ilonggo, Filipino and English before thousands of political supporters at the PDP-Laban rally in Victorias City, Negros Occidental on Friday,
Firstly, the Taguig representative stressed the need to provide quality affordable healthcare services for women employees, given the dual role they play as mothers and members of theworkforce.

“Gusto ko pong mabigyan ng malusog na pangangatawan ang ating mga nanay lalo na pagkatapos manganak. Mahalaga ding makaiwas ang inyong mga anak sa anumang sakit,” shestressed.
The staunch health advocate then cited two laws she authored on maternal and child health, namely, the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law (Republic Act 11210), which was signed recently by President Rodrigo Duterte, and the Mandatory Infants and Children Health Immunization Act (Republic Act 10152).

Furthermore, Cayetano said women deserve to be accorded the ‘Gift of Free Choice,’ particularly in planning the number and spacing of their children and preparing for their family’sfuture.
According to Cayetano, this was her inspiration in fighting for the passage of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act in 2012 (Republic Act 10354). The law grants Filipino families, especially the poor, free access to family planning services and commodities.

Meanwhile, recognizing the crucial role of women in sustained economic growth, the congresswoman expressed her commitment to continue championing initiatives that provide equal opportunities for women in the workplace.

“Dapat po ay husay at abilidad ang basehan para makapag-trabaho, hindi ang kasarian o edad ng isang tao,” stressed Cayetano, who also authored the Anti-Age Discrimination inEmployment Law (Republic Act 10911), which primarily seeks to help women who become victims of age discrimination in job hiring and employment.

“This is my message to all the hardworking Filipinas this Women’s Day. Mananatili po akong handa na maglingkod sa inyo at sa inyong mga pamilya. We will keep working hard to ensure for you these three gifts, not only on Women’s Day, but every day of every year,” Cayetano concluded. #

Pia leads breastfeeding room launch in Congress

‘Perfect gift for HREP women employees on Women’s Month’

House Deputy Speaker and Taguig City representative Pia S. Cayetano on Monday led the inauguration of the first breastfeeding room for nursing female employees of the House of Representatives (HREP) in Quezon City.

The breastfeeding room resulted from the initiative of Cayetano, who had written the House leadership requesting the establishment of the facility as mandated by law. A similar request was also made to the House leaders in a separate letter sent by a group of breastfeeding mothers employed at the House.

It was Cayetano, then a senator, who pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act, which mandated paid lactation breaks for nursing mothers during work hours, and the establishment of lactation rooms in public places and facilities, as well as government and private offices.

The landmark law was signed in 2009 by then President and current House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

“Thank you to everyone who made this happen. To [Committee on Women and Gender Equality chair, Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy], to the Speaker and Secretary General… I hope we can continue working together to support women in the workforce,” Cayetano said.

“If there are three mothers this month that will have the pleasure of using this lactation room, that would translate to three babies being breastfed longer and protected better,” she added.

“What could be a better gift for nursing employees of the House of Representatives on Women’s Month than a breastfeeding room they could access in their own workplace? This facility is also open to non-employees, or breastfeeding mothers who happen to be visiting Congress,” she continued.

“I hope we can see the establishment of more lactation rooms in the next months to come. The objective is to make it convenient for a mother to breastfeed. We want breastfeeding to be thefirst choice and, if possible, the only choice for mothers to ensure the health of our children,” Cayetano said.

The former senator was joined at the inauguration by Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Acting Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling, HREP officials and pregnant and nursing employees of the House.

This was not the first time the Taguig representative personally worked for the proper implementation of RA 10028 in an institution tasked to craft and pass laws. During her term as Senator, Cayetano also pushed for the opening of a breastfeeding room at the Philippine  Senate headquarters in Pasay City. #

House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano is joined by Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy (BH Party-List), House officials led by OIC Secretary General Roberto Maling and nursing and pregnant women employees at the launch of the first breastfeeding room at the House of Representatives.
The breastfeeding room was initiated by House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano, who delivered a privilege speech and wrote a letter to the House leadership, and a group of nursing moms employed at the House of Representatives who made a separate request to Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Expanded maternity leave puts PH at par with ASEAN, ILO standards

The passage of Republic Act 11210 or the 105-Day Expanded bMaternity Leave Law will allow women workers in the Philippines to be at par with their counterparts in South East Asia in terms of maternity leave benefits.

At the same time, the measure signed by President Rodrigo Duterte last week would enable the country to meet the standards of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

It should be noted that the ILO recommends 14 weeks, or 98 days, of maternity leave to allow working moms sufficient time to recover from childbirth and take care of their newborn before reporting back for work.

“This law is our government’s best gift to working moms and Filipino families as we approach March, which is International Women’s Month,” said House Deputy Speaker and senatorialcandidate Pia S. Cayetano, one the law’s principal authors and sponsors.

“From the bottom of the list, we now belong among the top countries in ASEAN providing sufficient maternity leave for their women workers,” she noted.

RA 11210 extended the maternity leave from 60 and 78 days (for natural and caesarian childbirth, respectively) to 105 days.

Vietnam currently offers the longest maternity leave in the region at 180 days, while Singapore ranks second with 112 days.

Brunei, Laos, and now, the Philippines, provide 105 days; Myanmar and Thailand 98 days; while Cambodia, Malaysia and Indonesia round up the list with 90 days.

“It takes two houses of Congress (the house and Senate) and the President’s approval to pass a law” Cayetano, the measure’s original proponent in the 16th Congress, stressed.

It will be recalled that Cayetano filed and sponsored the earlier version of the expanded maternity leave bill as the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality in the 16th Congress. The measure was approved by the Senate in 2016.

However, since the House of Representatives did not pass its version at the time, Cayetano had to refile her Senate-approved bill, this time in the House, after she was elected representative of Taguig City in the current 17th Congress.

“I thank and congratulate everyone who was part of the legislative process, including my colleagues in Congress, government agencies, and of course, our President who signed the bill into law after careful deliberation. The most important thing is that our people will benefit – mothers , fathers, [and] the entire family,” Cayetano concluded. #

From the bottom of the list, the Philippines now joins the ranks of top ASEAN countries giving sufficient maternity leave to women workers at 105 days.

FAQs: 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law

1. How many days of maternity leave are allowed under the law?

➢ Working mothers can file 105 days of Maternity Leave with full pay

➢ They can also file an additional 30 Days of optional leave without pay

➢ Mothers who suffered from miscarriage can file 60 Days of Maternity Leave with full pay

2. Who will benefit from this law?

➢ All working mothers in:

  • the government
  • the private sector
  • the informal sector, or any SSS member with voluntary contribution

3. What are the additional benefits for solo parents?

➢ Qualified Solo Parents under the law are granted additional 15 Days of paid MaternityLeave, on top of the 105 Days.

4. Can an unmarried woman apply for a maternity leave?

➢ Yes. Maternity leaves are granted regardless of the mothers’ civil status or their children’s legitimacy.

5. Can working mothers re-apply for maternity leave if they get pregnant again?

➢ Yes. Working mothers can apply for maternity leave in every instance of pregnancy.

6. Can a working mother apply for maternity leave even after she gets terminated from work?

➢ Yes. A mother can still apply for maternity leave if her childbirth or miscarriage occurs not more than 15 days after her service is terminated.

7. Will female athletes also benefit from this law?

➢ Yes. Female athletes are also entitled to the maternity leave benefits. They will also continue to receive allowances and benefits that were granted to them before their pregnancy.

8. Can a working mother transfer her maternity leave benefit to her husband or relative?

➢ Yes. A working mother may allocate up to 7 Days of her maternity leave to the child’sfather.

➢ In the absence, death, or incapacity of the father, the 7 Days may be allocated to a relativeup to the 4th degree or to the mother’s current partner.

9. How much should a working mother receive from her 105-Day maternity leave?

➢ Working mothers who avail of maternity leave must receive their full pay.

10. Who will pay for them?

Public Sector:

➢ Working mothers will be paid by their respective agencies.

Private Sector:

➢ SSS will cover the payment, the amount of which will depend on the monthly salary credit of the female member.

➢ In cases where the salaries of mothers are higher than the actual cash benefits they will receive from SSS, the employers are required to pay them a salary differential for the entire duration of their maternity leave.

11. What are the penalties for those who will violate this law?

➢ Employers or agencies who violate this law will be fined from P20,000.00 to P200,000.00; or will be imprisoned for at least 6 years and 1 day or not more than 12 years. Moreover, their business permits shall no longer be renewed.

File photo: Deputy Speaker and 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law principal author and sponsor Pia S. Cayetano does her signature ‘women power’ pose with women graduates of TESDA in Taguig City.

Pia hails signing of expanded maternity leave law

Cayetano thanks Pres. Duterte for signing the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law; says measure recognizes dual role of women as workers and mothers

House Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano hailed the passage of the Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which provides 105 days of paid maternity leave to Filipino working mothers. 

A known advocate for Filipino families and children, Cayetano expressed her gratitude to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte for signing the measure, thus giving working mothers more time to recover and to take care of their newborn after giving birth. 

“This measure is an acknowledgement of the dual role of women in society: as members of the work force and as mothers,” she stressed.

The principal author and sponsor of expanded maternity bill in the House, Cayetano also led the passage of the original version of the measure in the Senate back when she chaired the *Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality* in the 16th Congress. 

The Taguig representative thanked President Duterte for listening to her position on the urgency of enacting the measure for women workers, and for eventually backing the proposal. The President had said during his endorsement of Cayetano at the PDP-Laban kickoff rally in Bulacan last week that he would always listen to the lady lawmaker’s advice in addressing the problems of the country. 

Cayetano also acknowledged her colleagues in Congress, particularly House Committee on Women and Gender Equality chairperson Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, and the previous chair, former Rep. Emmeline Aglipay-Villar, for paving the way towards the successful passage of the measure. 

Cayetano also acknowledged then Special Assistant to the President Bong Go, for heeding and acknowledging the stand of women advocates and relaying this to the President. 

“This maternity leave bill was like a baby that’s been waiting to be born. I’ve been working on this for many years, since I was in the Senate,” Cayetano stressed.

Republic Act 7322, or the Act Increasing Maternity Benefits in Favor of Women Workers in the Private Sectors, was passed way back in March 1992. With the passage of the new law after almost 27 years, working mothers can now enjoy an extended maternity leave from 60 to 105 days.

“As a working mother, I have experienced the 60-day maternity leave under the previous law. I know that the additional days will be a great help to hardworking Filipino mothers and their newborns,” Cayetano shared. #

Photo: Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano with breastfeeding mothers and their babies at the Big Latch On (BLO) held in Cebu in August, 2018.

Bicam approves Expanded Maternity Leave Bill!

Statement of Deputy Speaker and Taguig City 2D Representative Pia S. Cayetano

Principal author, House Bill 4113

“I have very good news because the on this day, the Senate and the House met to discuss the disagreeing provisions of our Expanded Maternity Leave Bill. We have come to our final version, which is a 105 Days Expanded Maternity Leave Bill.  All that is left to do is to bring this measure back to our respective Chambers for the members to concur with, before sending it to Malacanang for approval.”

“In a nutshell, we now have 105 days of maternity leave, and seven (7) of those days may be given to the father of the baby, since the recommendation under the ILO (International Labor Organization) is at least 98 days. So a mother has the option of giving seven days to her partner.

“In addition, we will have extended maternity leave not just for those in the public sector, or those working in government, but also the private sector, the informal sector (yung mga self-employed din basta nagbabayad kayo ng SSS – SSS will cover a fraction), and then the employers will pay for the difference. Athletes are also covered.

“We also tackled a number of other clarifications to ensure that it’s very clear that a maternity leave can be availed of anytime before giving birth or after. Some people go on leave, let’s say five days, or thirty days before (giving birth), so that would all be covered.

“After so many years, this bill will soon become a law. This was my ‘baby’ ever since I was in the Senate. My team and I wrote the original version (Senate Bill 2982, which was passed by the Senate on third reading in the 16th Congress), that’s why I’m very familiar with the provisions. And so I take the opportunity to thank my team: Those who started in the Senate, and those who are still with me now, for the work that you put in to make this pass. Thank you to those who helped push for the measure, including my colleagues and all the advocates who had been supporting this ever since. I’m so happy with the outcome of this bill.” #