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House bill to give fathers more time with ma, new baby.

Family bonding starts at birth.

With this in mind, Albay Representative Edcel B. Lagman has filed a bill in the House of Representatives seeking to extend the paternity leave granted by law to married male employees from one week to 15 days.

Lagmans amendment to the Paternity Leave Act of 1996 would grant married male employees just over double the paid time off, with an option to extend the leave an additional 15 days, albeit unpaid, "to lengthen the time spent by a man with his wife and newborn after delivery."

Swift recovery

In the explanatory note, the lawmaker said the physical presence of the husband during the first month after childbirth was important for the swift recovery of the wife.

The fathers presence is medically proven to reduce postpartum depression among mothers, he said.

"It is at this stage that every mother is at risk of postpartum depression due to her hormones going haywire during the very crucial time of providing 24/7 care to a still fragile baby," he said.

"Every husbands support and care for his wife will make baby nurturing for both parents manageable. During the first weeks of a babys life, the family bond is formed and intensified daily as the baby recognizes his primary caregivers," Lagman said.

"A father also feels a great desire to hold his little one as much as he wishes to provide financially for his familys needs," he added.

With full pay

With House Bill No. 5554, Lagman is seeking to amend Section 2 of Republic Act No. 8187 which deals with paternity leave benefits.

Per Lagmans proposal, "Every married male employee in the private and public sectors shall be entitled to paternity leave of 15 days with full pay for the first four deliveries of the legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting and said leave shall not be deducted from his annual leave credits."

"He shall also have the option to extend the paternity leave to 30 days, of which the last 15 days will be unpaid and will not be deducted from his annual leave credits," the bill also states.

The measure is pending in the labor and employment committee chaired by Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei B. Nograles.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Apr 7, 2015
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