Senator pushes maternity bill for informal sectory
The Manila Times
SEN. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros sought the passage of a bill that seeks to grant maternity benefits for women in the informal sector, who had contributed in 2016 over P5.013 trillion to gross domestic product (GDP). The senator pushed anew the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 148 or the proposed Maternity Benefit for Workers in the Informal Economy Act. Hontiveros said the measure aims to provide a maternity cash benefit worth the daily minimum wage “times 44,” or the minimum wage of two months. The money, the senator said, will be sourced from “sin taxes” which reached about P260 billion in 2021. SB 148 seeks to benefit street vendors, cleaning ladies, home-based workers and farmers, among others. Under SB 148, workers who are neither voluntary nor regular members of the Social Security System should receive, through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, “a one-time direct maternity cash benefit per delivery.” “Enacting this measure into law is very important. It is estimated that there are 250,000 Filipino women in the informal economy that gives birth every year. The impact [of the law] will be significant for them,” Hontiveros said. She said that while many women in the formal economy have benefited greatly from the law, “there is still a large swathe of women workers who do not enjoy the same maternity benefits, especially those from the informal sector.” “They have the strong will to support and raise their families with dignity. But until now there is no law for them. They have been neglected for too long,” she said in Filipino. “This legislation seeks to empower them as they empower our economy.” “Ensuring that women have the economic means, health, and time to care for our children is an urgent response to the many crises of our times, she added.