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Sotto files bill proposing monetization of maternity leave credits.

Just a day before he was bashed in social media for his remark on single parents, Senate Majority Leader Vicente 'Tito' Sotto III filed a bill that would uplift the welfare of female workers, especially those who are pregnant.

At the resumption of sessions last Tuesday, Sotto filed Senate Bill No. 1428 that would allow the monetization of maternity leave credits of female employees.

Under the bill, all covered female employees and Social Security System (SSS) members could monetize their unused maternity leave credits for the past three years.

They would be entitled to monetize 60 days of their maternity leave credits, subject to the following conditions:

That the monetization should be made within 15 years from the birth of their first child;

That the covered employees have not availed of the maternity leave benefits for the last three (3) years immediately preceding the monetization; and

That the covered employee intending to monetize is not pregnant on the day of filing of the application for monetization.

Sotto recognized that the government has already been implementing programs to improve the quality of life of every Filipino. But he said: 'There are still a lot to be desired.'

'Thus, this proposed measure, with the intent to somehow augment the rising cost of living, seeks to grant the workingwomen - both from the government and private sectors - as well as the female members of the SSS the privilege to monetize their maternity leave credits, subject to some conditions,' he said in the explanatory note of the bill.

The bill, he said, could also encourage family planning 'because one of the proposed conditions in order to avail of the benefits under the bill is that the covered female employee or SSS member can only monetize if she did not use her maternity leave benefit for the past three years immediately preceding the monetization.'

'Hence, this measure may be an instrument for solving the country's problem of overpopulation,' the senator said.

A day after the filing of the measure, however, Sotto was heavily criticized for asking Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo during the hearing of the Commission on Appointments' Committee on Labor, Employment, and Social Welfare on Wednesday why she had two children but was still single.

'In the street language, when you have children and you are single, ang tawag lang ay na-ano lang. Thank you, you have my 100-percent support, Madam Secretary,' Sotto told Taguiwalo.

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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:May 4, 2017
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