Solons move to strengthen law on paternity leave

MARRIED male employees may soon enjoys paternity leave beyond the current limit of four deliveries and in all succeeding deliveries of their spouses, should congress approved a bill now pending at the lower house.

The proposal of Rep. Diosdado Macapagal Arroyo (2nd District, Camarines Sur) and his mother, Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2nd District, Pampanga) amends Republic Act (RA) No. 8187, otherwise known as The Paternity Leave Act of 1996.

House Bill 6123 seeks to amend Section 2 of RA 8187 by allowing married male employees to file for paternity leave beyond the first four deliveries of his wife.

Section 2 of bill states that “Notwithstanding any law, rules and regulations to the contrary, every married male employee in the private and public sectors shall be entitled to a paternity leave of seven days with full pay for the delivery of the legitimate spouse
with whom he is cohabiting. The male employee for paternity leave shall notify his employer of the pregnancy of his legitimate spouse and the expected date of such delivery.”

Arroyo said the role of the husband in giving the much-needed support, care and assistance to the wife has never been crucial and important as when his wife gives birth to their child as well as during her period of recovery and in the nursing of the newly-born baby.

“It was in recognition of the role of the husband in giving assistance and helping take care of the baby that Congress saw the need in enacting RA 8187,” Arroyo said.

But despite the genuine intent of the law, Arroyo added, it is quite limited since the granting of paternity leave is only up to the first four deliveries of the wife.

The younger Arroyo said the passage of the bill will put the husband in a better position to give support to his wife and give the husband more time to take care of the other children in his wife’s absence.

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