House bill expands paid paternity leave to 30 days

Daddies deserve an extended break with their newborn, too.

(Kelli Mcclintock/ Unsplash)

Quezon City 4th Rep. Marvin Rillo has moved to increase the fully paid paternity leave benefit of every working father from the current seven days to 30 days so that these dads may effectively lend support to the mother and their newborn during childbirth.

For this purpose, Rillo, a neophyte congressman, filed House Bill (HB) No.4430, or the proposed Act expanding the scope of and providing for extended paternity leave, amending for the purpose Republic Act (RA) No.8187, and for other purposes.

It should be noted that the sought month-long paternity leave credit with full pay would also cover unmarried working father living in with the mother, provided that there is no legal impediment for them to wed.

“We should not discriminate against the unmarried working father in the grant of paid paternity leave credits, so long as he is living in with the mother and the couple are free to marry or stay together,” Rillo said.

In batting for the swift passage of his bill, Rillo invoked the mandate of the 1987 Constitution for the State to reinforce family solidarity and foster the total development of every family.

The existing Paternity Leave Law of 1996 provides that “every married male employee in the private or public sectors shall be entitled to a paternity leave of seven days with full pay for the first four deliveries (childbirth or miscarriage) of the legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting".

The bill seeks to remove the word “married” and supplant with “his partner” the reference to “the legitimate spouse” in the above-mentioned provision of the law.

Aside from upgrading the seven days to “30 working days", the bill expressly provides that all working fathers “regardless of their employment status” would enjoy the paternity leave credit.

Under the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2019, a mother may also allocate up to seven days of her 105-day fully paid maternity leave credit to the child’s father, without discrimination as to his marital status with the newborn’s mother.