Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

MATERNITY LEAVE BENEFITS FOR UNMARRIED GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES

Joy Ann M. Duran


Ll.B. Block 1B

HISTORY OF MATERNITY LEAVE IN THE PHILIPPINES

It was 76 years ago when Filipino women first gained the right to maternity leave. Four
years after the right of suffrage was extended to Filipino women in 1937, women’s rights continued
to gain momentum in the Philippines with the passing of Commonwealth Act No. 647 on June 14,
1941, which granted maternity leave to married women in the service of the government or any of
its instrumentalities. Section 1 of CA No. 647 provided that:

Married women who are permanently or temporarily appointed in the service of the
Government, or in any of its branches, subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities,
including the corporations and enterprises owned or controlled by the Government,
shall, in addition to the vacation and sick leave which they may enjoy now, be
entitled in case of pregnancy to a maternity leave of sixty days subject to the
following conditions :

a. Permanent and regular employees who have rendered two or more years of
continuous service, shall be entitled to maternity leave with full pay;
b. Permanent and regular employees who have rendered less than two years of
continuous service, shall be entitled to half pay; and
c. Temporary employees shall be entitled to maternity leave without pay and shall
be readmitted to the service at the end of their leave. No employee shall be
refused readmission to the service on the ground of absence on account of
maternity

Section 2 further mandated heads of offices to “avoid the assignment of strenuous and fatiguing
work to married women under their charge who are in a state of pregnancy.”

The pioneering act brought changes to the work climate of women in the government,
though not equally for all, for the law clearly stated that maternity leave was granted to married
women only. For years to come, the standard set by the Act was to be the wall that protected those
who were deemed qualified, while effectively keeping out those who were not.

On July 25, 1987, fresh from the victory of People Power, then President Corazon C.
Aquino promulgated Executive Order No. 292, otherwise known as the Administrative Code of
1987, with the goal of enhancing the effectiveness of the government through changes in
administrative structures and procedures designed to serve the people. From this authority came
the Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of Executive Order No. 292 and Other Pertinent Civil
Service Laws (1992) which expounded on, among others, employees’ right to self-organization,
administrative offenses and sanctions, and employee benefits. Rule XVI of the said Omnibus Rules
covered the procedures on leave of absence, which carried the same provisions of CA No. 647 on
maternity leave for ten more years.

With the passage of Republic Act No. 8187 otherwise known as the Paternity Leave Act
of 1996, which granted paternity leave benefits even to contractual male employees of the
government, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) recognized the need to correct the inequitable
situation of contractual women employees not entitled to maternity leave under CA No. 647. Thus,
CSC Memorandum Circular (MC) No. 41, s. 1998 dated December 24, 1998 was issued to
harmonize the provisions on maternity leave with the gender-sensitive policies of the government.
With the aforementioned MC, the following amendments to Rule XVI of the Omnibus Rules
Implementing Book V of EO No. 292 were made, among others: computation of maternity leave
in proportion to the length of service of those who have rendered one (1) year or more but less
than two (2) years of service (Sec. 11, par. 2); allowing married women to go on maternity leave
in every instance of pregnancy irrespective of its frequency (Sec. 13); allowing married women to
return to work before the expiration of their maternity leave without having to refund the
commuted money value of the unexpired portion of the leave (Sec. 14); granting maternity leave
with pay to married employees even those with pending administrative cases (Sec. 17); and
entitling married contractual employees to maternity leave benefits like regular employees in
accordance with the provisions of Section 11 (Sec. 18). Noticeably though, the provisions of the
MC still bore the qualifying word “married” to determine eligibility for maternity leave benefits.

Finally, in the year 2000, unmarried or solo parents obtained relief with the passage of
Republic Act No. 8972 otherwise known as the Solo Parents’ Welfare Act of 2000. The law, which
took effect on November 28, 2000, asserts in its Declaration of Policy (Sec. 2) that the State “shall
develop a comprehensive program of services for solo parents and their children.” Among those
falling under the definition of “solo parent” are unmarried mothers who preferred to keep and rear
their child/children instead of having others care for them or give them up to welfare institutions
(Sec. 3-A, par. 8). In addition to leave privileges under existing laws, RA No. 8972 granted an
additional parental leave of not more than seven (7) working days every year to any solo parent
employee who has rendered service of at least one (1) year (Sec. 8).

In an effort to harmonize existing provisions on maternity leave with RA No. 8972, the
CSC issued Resolution No. 021420 dated October 22, 2002, circularized by CSC MC No. 22, s.
2002 dated October 23, 2002, amending Sections 11, 13, 14, 17, and 18 under Rule XVI of the
Omnibus Rules Implementing Book V of EO No. 292 as follows:

Section 11. Conditions for the grant of maternity leave. – Every woman in the
government service who has rendered an aggregate of two (2) or more years of
service, shall, in addition to the vacation and sick leave granted to her, be entitled
to maternity leave of sixty (60) calendar days with full pay.

Maternity leave of those who have rendered one (1) year or more but less than
two (2) years of service shall be computed in proportion to their length of service,
provided that those who have served for less than one (1) year shall be entitled to
60-days maternity leave with half pay.

It is understood that enjoyment of maternity leave cannot be deferred but should


be enjoyed within the actual period of delivery in a continuous and uninterrupted
manner not exceeding 60 calendar days.

Section 13. Every woman, married or unmarried, may be granted maternity


leave more than once a year. – Maternity leave shall be granted to female employees
in every instance of pregnancy irrespective of its frequency.

Section 14. Every married or unmarried woman may go on maternity leave for
less than sixty (60) days. – When a female employee wants to report back to duty
before the expiration of her maternity leave, she may be allowed to do so provided
she presents a medical certificate that she is physically fit to assume the duties of
her position.

The commuted money value of the unexpired portion of the leave need not be
refunded and that when the employee returns to work before the expiration of her
maternity leave, she may receive both the benefits granted under the maternity leave
law and the salary for actual services rendered effective the day she reports for
work.

Sec. 17. Maternity leave of a female employee with pending administrative case.
– Every woman employee in the government service is entitled to maternity leave
of absence with pay even if she has a pending administrative case.

Sec. 18. Maternity leave of contractual employees. – All contractual female


employees whether or not receiving 20% premium on their salary shall be entitled
to maternity leave benefits like regular employees in accordance with the provisions
of Section 11 hereof.

And so it was that after 61 long years, unmarried women were placed in the same footing as
married women in the grant of maternity leave.

ON THE QUESTION OF IMMORALITY

Given that the CSC allows an unmarried woman to avail of maternity leave benefits, does
it mean that she cannot be administratively charged? Isn’t getting pregnant outside of wedlock a
ground for complaint for disgraceful and immoral conduct under the law?

In the case of Anonymous vs. Radam ,1 the respondent, who was single and unmarried, got
pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy while employed as a utility worker in the Office of the Clerk
of Court. Being employed in the judiciary and considered as a government employee, she was

1
A.M. No. P-07-2333, December 19, 2007.
covered by the civil service laws. An anonymous letter-complaint charged her of immorality on
the ground of her getting pregnant though unmarried and allegedly tainting the image of the
judiciary. The Supreme Court wisely ruled:

For purposes of determining administrative responsibility, giving birth out of


wedlock is not per se immoral under civil service laws. For such conduct to warrant
disciplinary action, the same must be grossly immoral, that is, it must be so corrupt
and false as to constitute a criminal act or so unprincipled as to be reprehensible to
a high degree.

For a particular conduct to constitute disgraceful and immoral behavior under


civil service laws, it must be regulated on account of the concerns of public and
secular morality. It cannot be judged based on personal bias, specifically those
colored by particular mores. Nor should it be grounded on cultural values not
convincingly demonstrated to have been recognized in the realm of public policy
expressed in the Constitution and the laws. At the same time, the constitutionally
guaranteed rights (such as the right to privacy) should be observed to the extent that
they protect behavior that may be frowned upon by the majority.

Under these tests, two things may be concluded from the fact that an unmarried
woman gives birth out of wedlock:

(1) if the father of the child is himself unmarried, the woman is not ordinarily
administratively liable for disgraceful and immoral conduct. It may be a not-
so-ideal situation and may cause complications for both mother and child but it
does not give cause for administrative sanction. There is no law which penalizes
an unmarried mother under those circumstances by reason of her sexual
conduct or proscribes the consensual sexual activity between two unmarried
persons. Neither does the situation contravene any fundamental state policy as
expressed in the Constitution, a document that accommodates various belief
systems irrespective of dogmatic origins.

(2) if the father of the child born out of wedlock is himself married to a woman
other than the mother, then there is a cause for administrative sanction against
either the father or the mother. In such a case, the disgraceful and immoral
conduct consists of having extramarital relations with a married person. The
sanctity of marriage is constitutionally recognized and likewise affirmed by our
statutes as a special contract of permanent union. Accordingly, judicial
employees have been sanctioned for their dalliances with married persons or
for their own betrayals of the marital vow of fidelity.

In this case, it was not disputed that, like respondent, the father of her child was
unmarried. Therefore, respondent cannot be held liable for disgraceful and immoral
conduct simply because she gave birth to the child Christian Jeon out of wedlock.

In the said case, the respondent was exonerated from administrative liability for giving
birth to a son out of wedlock considering that the father of her child was unmarried like her.

Similarly, CSC MC No. 15, s. 2010, issued on August 5, 2010, further clarified what
constitutes the administrative offense of Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct:
Section 1. Definition of Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct. – Disgraceful and
Immoral Conduct refers to an act which violates the basic norm of decency,
morality and decorum abhorred and condemned by the society. It refers to conduct
which is willful, flagrant or shameless, and which shows a moral indifference to
the opinions of the good and respectable members of the community.

Section 3. Complaint for Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct Against


Unmarried Government Personnel. – Unmarried government employees who do
not have any existing legal impediments to contract marriage may not be made
liable for the administrative offense of Disgraceful and Immoral Conduct unless the
conduct consists of immoral and deviant acts which are inherently forbidden by the
basic norms of decency, morality and decorum such as, but not limited to incest,
pedophilia, exhibitionism and the like.

Thus, even if a woman gets pregnant outside of wedlock, if no legal impediment exists for
her and her child’s father to marry each other, there is no administrative liability for disgraceful
and immoral conduct.

THE EXPANDED MATERNITY LEAVE LAW OF 2017

On March 6, 2017, the Senate approved on third and final reading Senate Bill No. 1305
otherwise known as the Expanded Maternity Leave Law of 2017.

Under the bill, all female workers, regardless of civil status or legitimacy of her child, shall
be granted 120 days maternity leave with pay and an option to extend it for another 30 days without
pay. Single mothers shall also be granted a total of 150 days of maternity leave with pay (Sec.3).
Furthermore, a female worker has the option of allocating up to 30 days of the said benefit to the
child’s father, whether or not the same is married to her, or to an alternative caregiver such as her
relative or current partner (Sec. 6).

If signed into law, it would afford a vast majority of female employees, married or not,
including their spouses or partners, significantly greater time for much needed rest and
recuperation after pregnancy.

A counterpart measure, House Bill No. 04113, is currently pending approval in the House
of Representatives.
BIBLIOGRAPHY

Commonwealth Act No. 647 : an act to grant maternity leave to married women who are in the
service of the government or any of its instrumentalities. 1941. Accessed August 7, 2017.
Available at http://pcw.gov.ph/sites/default/files/documents/laws/commonwealth_act_647.pdf

Executive Order No. 292 : instituting the administrative code of 1987. 1987. Accessed August 7,
2017. Available at http://www.chanrobles.com/administrativecodeofthephilippinesfulltext.htm
l#.WeBqEFtSy1s

Civil Service Commission. Omnibus rules implementing book v of executive order no. 292 and
other pertinent civil service laws, Civil Service Commission, 1992.

Republic Act No. 8187 : an act granting paternity leave of seven (7) days with full pay to all
married male employees in the private and public sectors for the first four (4) deliveries of the
legitimate spouse with whom he is cohabiting and for other purposes. 1996. Accessed August
7, 201. Available at http://pcw.gov.ph/sites/default/files/documents/laws/republic_act_8187.pdf

Civil Service Commission. CSC MC No. 41, s. 1998 : amendments to rules i and xvi of the omnibus
rules implementing book v of the administrative code of 1987 (executive order 292). 1998.
Accessed August 7, 2017. Available at http://www.csguide.org/files/original/e8e26d964c7ae1
c40070742822543943.pdf

Republic Act No. 8972 : an act providing for benefits and privileges to solo parents and their
children, appropriating funds therefor and for other purposes. 2000. Accessed August 7, 201.
Available at http://www.lawphil.net/statutes/repacts/ra2000/ra_8972_2000.html

Civil Service Commission. CSC MC No. 22, s. 2002 : amendment to section 11, rule xvi of the
omnibus rules implementing book v of the administrative code of 1987. 2002. Accessed August
7, 2017. Available at http://www.csguide.org/files/original/870c141150ec62da8ea3e6b3df3d0
1cb.pdf

Anonymous v. Radam, A.M. No. P-07-2333, December 19, 2007, available at http://sc.judiciary.
gov.ph/jurisprudence/2007/december2007/P-07-2333.htm#_ftn12 (last visited August 7, 2017).

Civil Service Commission. CSC MC No. 15, s. 2010 : amending certain provisions of the rules on
the administrative offense of disgraceful and immoral conduct. 2010. Accessed August 7, 2017.
Available at http://www.csc.gov.ph/phocadownload/userupload/itduser/mc15s2010.pdf

Phil. Congress. Senate. SB No. 1305 : an act increasing the maternity leave period to one hundred
twenty (120) days for female workers in the government service and the private sector with an
option to extend for an additional thirty (30) days without pay, providing a parental leave
period for adoptive parents, and granting an additional thirty (30) days for solo mothers, and
for other purposes. 2017. Accessed August 7, 2017. Available at https://www.senate.gov.ph/lis
data/2530221794!.pdf

Phil. Congress. House. HB No. 4113 : increasing the maternity leave period to one hundred (100)
days for female workers in the government service and in the private sector, and granting an
option to extend for an additional thirty (30) days without pay. 2016. Accessed August 7, 2017.
Available at http://www.congress.gov.ph/legisdocs/first_17/CR00013.pdf