The Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP) has articulated its stance on certain House bills via position paper it submitted during the recent deliberation by the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality.
Among these bills are:
House Bill No. 1800 which seeks to increase maternity leave benefits from 60 days to 100 days, amending for the purpose P.D. 442, as amended by R.A. 7322, introduced by Reps. Ilagan and de Jesus;
House Bill No. 1478 which proposes to impose penalties on for an immediate superior or senior official of an agency, public or private, who denies application for leave of absence by a victim survivor of violence against women and their children as provided under Section 42 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of R.A. 9626, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, introduced by Reps. Ilagan and de Jesus;
House Bill No.4217 which seeks to establish a women and children monitoring desk in regional offices of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Civil Service Commission (CSC), amending R.A. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, introduced by Reps. Ilagan and de Jesus; and
House Bill No. 5334 which proposes to grant additional 15-day leave for eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence, amending section 43 of R.A. 9262, or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004,” introduced by Rep. Lazatin.
On House Bill Nos. 1800 and 5334, ECOP said considering the number of leaves, holidays, rest days plus additional leaves under this proposed legislation, the workdays left for women would total 78 days or 2.6 months. Thus, ECOP has voiced strong opposition to both bills, pointing out that any further reduction in the number of working days would lead to the further deterioration of labor productivity and competitiveness as well as increased cost of doing business
In the case of House Bill No. 1478, ECOP contended that the government does not have the power to suspend from work a private sector employee in the form of a sanction. “The law should not deprive employers to exercise management prerogative. It is the right of management to impose proper sanction to its own employee,” ECOP argued.
In addition, ECOP emphasized that due process must be given to the employee, immediate superior of the victim-survivor applying for the leave, or the senior official before imposing sanctions.
Concerning House Bill No. 4217, ECOP has posed no objection to the passage of this bill.