Women workers led by the labor partylist group Partido Manggagawa (PM) slammed Davao City mayor Sara Duterte for proposing a watered down version of the Expanded Maternity Leave (EML) Law. Tonight—the eve of EML lapsing into law—the coalition Workers4EML is holding a candlelight vigil at Mendiola.
“We are lighting 105 candles so that President Rodrigo Duterte will be enlightened into signing the law that will benefit tremendously women workers and ensure the health of newborn babies. If he cannot muster the courage to sign it into law, the very least he could do is let it lapse into law. We warn the President against vetoing the law as demanded by the employers group ECOP,” asserted Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.
She added that “Sara should be advised of the basics of law making. EML cannot be watered down anymore since it has been passed by Congress. The President can only sign it in toto, veto it or let it lapse into law. So Sara’s call for halving the salary of pregnant workers on leave, or worse giving them only a quarter of their pay, is not only detrimental to women but downright prohibited.”
Workers4EML which includes the labor groups PM, PSLINK, Sentro, TUCP and IndustriAll have been crucial in advocating and lobbying for the expanded maternity law. Yesterday women under the banner of Workers4EML held a noisy but colorful action at Welcome Rotonda.
“Push na natin ito mga kabaro at ka-manggagawa. Do not let the enemies of labor steal the victory that women workers have fought for,” Miranda averred.
She added that “Sara’s argument that it is necessary to water down EML in consideration of small businesses is nonsense. It is the Social Security System (SSS) which will pay the salary of pregnant workers on leave as long as it is not above the salary credit of P16,000. Sara conveniently remembers that the bulk of businesses are small but hypocritically forgets that majority of workers are minimum wage earners with salaries below P16,000. With the signing by Duterte of the law mandating an increase in SSS contributions, the workers’ pensions system is in no danger of going under.”
February 20, 2019
Partido Manggagawa partylist