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Mandatory menstruation leave measure filed in House

By Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 18:06:00 08/18/2008

Filed Under: Legislation, Congress, Women, Labor

MANILA, Philippines -- A bill seeking to grant mandatory menstruation leave for all private and government female employees in the private and public sectors has been filed at the House of Representatives.

House Bill 4888, known as the ?Menstruation Leave Act of 2008,? was initiated by ARC (Alliance of Rural Concern) party-list Representative Narciso Santiago III.

Under the bill, all female employees, regardless of the nature of their employment, except those pregnant and menopausal, should be entitled to a one-day menstruation leave at half wage remuneration every month.

The bill seeks to impose a fine of not more than P30,000 or jail time of between 30 days to six months on those who would violate the proposed legislation.

?If the violation is committed by a corporation, trust or firm, partnership, association or any other entity, the penalty of imprisonment shall be imposed on the entity?s responsible officers, including, but not limited to, the president, vice president, chief executive officer, general manager, managing director or partner directly responsible thereof,? said the bill.

Santiago said the grant of menstruation leave is being implemented in other Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Taiwan.

?There is no law in the Philippines that allows female employees not to report for work due to premenstrual or menstrual tension,? he said.

Santiago said many women experience symptoms of ?premenstrual tension -- caused by high level[s] of estrogen and its tendency to cause fluid retention in cells and tissues -- 10 to 14 days before menses.

?Brain-cell swelling, in turn, causes increased irritability, depression, emotional instability and headaches,? he pointed out. ?Effects in other parts of the body include abdominal cramps, constipation, fullness and tenderness in breast and aching and heaviness in legs.?



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