Recognize role of mothers as unpaid family workers

Favors bill seeking to compensate stay-at-home mothers

Senatorial aspirant Pia S. Cayetano on Thursday expressed support for the measure recognizing the important role of Filipina mothers, saying that stay-at-home moms deserve to receive compensation as society’s ‘unpaid workers.’

In an ambush interview with reporters in Naga City, the Taguig City Representative was asked about her stand on House Bill 8875, which seeks to provide P2,000 monthly subsidy for housewives and stay-at-home mothers. 

“Naniniwala ako na dapat may katumbas na halagang binibigay sa ‘trabaho’ ng mga nanay,” Cayetano responded. 

“I have always said that the woman is the unpaid worker. Mothers do not get compensated for the work that they do in their homes,” she added. 
Meanwhile, the congresswoman said there are different ways by which the government could provide support to Filipina mothers taking care of their families. 

“(The subsidy) could be monetary, it could be non-monetary. But at the end of the day, what I want is to give women more opportunities to earn income for their families even from the comfort of their homes,” she said. 

“We have to acknowledge the contribution of women to our country’s economy. This is why we need to help them, particularly the mothers, by giving them enough support.”

On the other hand, Cayetano said mothers can also be assisted by the government by giving them access to information and services on responsible family planning. 

The principal author and sponsor of Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012, Cayetano said mothers should be given the opportunity to make responsible decisions regarding the number and spacing of their children. 

She said a fully implemented RH Law is needed to effectively and sustainably lift people from poverty. #

Senatoriable Pia S. Cayetano meets with mothers and youth leaders in Naga City to discuss her advocacies to make Filipino families’ lives better and more comfortable.

Pia joins 50-km all-women ultra marathon in Cebu

Lawmaker and running enthusiast Pia S. Cayetano was one of more than three hundred female runners who joined the 50-kilometer All-Women Ultra Marathon (AWUM) held in Cebu City over the weekend.

The long-distance running event, which started on Saturday at 10 pm and ended early Sunday morning, is held annually and exclusively for women by running organizations in Cebu tocelebrate International Women’s Month.

A staunch advocate of health, sports, and women’s empowerment, Cayetano joined 351 fellow women during the eighth edition of the run organized exclusively for women endurance runners. This is her third time to join the event.

Upon reaching the finish line before 6 am on Sunday, Cayetano congratulated her fellow women participants who braved the long route around the cities of Cebu, Mandaue, and Lapu-Lapu.

The Taguig City lawmaker and Nacionalista Party senatorial candidate even had enough strength to do her trademark headstand at the finish line where she was applauded byorganizers and fellow runners.

“For the third time, 50 kilometers! Congratulations to all the women out there! I draw my inspiration from all the women [who ran with me.] That’s why I can do this race, because of all the women. Their energy [motivates me],” Cayetano explained.

She also thanked the organizers for putting up a successful event, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Cebu Hope Center, a home for sexually abused children.

The principal author and sponsor of pro-women laws like the Magna Carta of Women (RA 9710) and the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act (RA 10354), Cayetano hopes tocontinue fighting for initiatives that empower Filipinas, particularly by providing them with good health, free choice, and equal opportunities. #

Festive mood at the starting line of the 8th All Women Ultra Marathon at The Terraces, Ayala Center in Cebu City.The long-distance race started at exactly 10 pm of Saturday, March 9.

Still full of energy after finishing the 50-kilometer ‘ultra’ marathon race course, House Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano does her trademark headstand at the finish line in Ayala Center, Cebu City.

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.

Pia hails Barangay Health Workers on Women’s Month

Statement on Women’s Month by Deputy Speaker Pia S. Cayetano (Taguig City, 2nd District)

Today marks the start of Women’s Month, a celebration that highlights the contributions of women in building stronger communities and a better nation, one where every family is welltaken care of and nurtured.

It is the most perfect time to recognize the different roles women play in our society – as vital members of the workforce, as government’s partners in social welfare, and as mothers who rearthe next generation of Filipinos.

We particularly should acknowledge our real-life Pinays In Action, our barangay health workers (BHWs) whose commitment to protect the health of our children and families is truly unparalleled.
In 2017, women made up 98 percent (272,315 out of 276,919) of the total number of active BHWs in the country. These Pinays In Action are the frontliners of our health programs.

Now, at a time when our country is hounded by grave concerns like the decline in parents’ confidence in vaccines and the ensuing measles outbreak in some provinces, these same women are the ones working at the grassroots, promoting children’s health and convincing parents to have their kids immunized. It is therefore our honor to pay tribute to our women health workers during this month-long celebration.

On a last note, and for our part, we assure all fellow Pinays in Action that we will continue to champion initiatives that uplift the lives of Filipinas and their families. We already started our fight in Congress, through the passage of key legislation like the Reproductive Health Act, Magna Carta of Women, and the 105-Day Expanded Maternity Leave Law, which was recently signed by President Rodrigo Duterte. We intend to achieve more in the years to come, inwhatever capacity as advocates of women, the family and community. #

Deputy Speaker Pia Cayetano addresses Barangay Health Workers and local government heath officers and personnel at the Oplan Alis Tigdas assembly organized by the provincial government of Pampanga.

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.