MANILA – Fathers taking an active role in their child’s life is good for the father, the mother, the child, the family, and society, said Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan as he filed a bill extending paid paternity leave from seven days to 30 days.
“Mas mabibigyang panahon ang tatay na mas makatulong sa pag-alaga ng bagong silang at sa pag-recover agad si misis mula sa panganganak (The father would be given more time to help in the care of the newborn and in the recovery of the wife from childbirth),” he said.
The proposed measure, which amends Republic Act 8187 or the Paternity Leave Act of 1996, covers all married male employees in both the public and private sectors, as well as for all deliveries of their legitimate spouse, removing the previous cap that gives fathers this benefit only for the first four deliveries.
In the explanatory note of the bill, Pangilinan noted that 79 countries worldwide have enacted laws on paternity leave and 70 of said countries require a paid leave.
Citing “The Economist” (2015), he enumerated the benefits of paternity leaves: Fathers are more likely to take an active role in child care tasks; early interaction between father and child has longer-term positive impact on the child’s learning abilities; and paternity leave is beneficial to women’s careers as child care responsibilities are shared between the father and the mother.
Pangilinan is a hands-on father of four and actively involved in their lives.
After Congress opened its 17th regular session last week, Pangilinan filed this amendment to the Paternity Leave Act of 1996 and three others: on comprehensive nursing, full subsidy for students in state universities and colleges, and voter education for junior and senior high school students.