MANILA, Philippines?With the Labor Code saying that incentives should be given to workers who plan the size of their families, the Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) labor group Tuesday said that employees should get paid leaves if they avail themselves of reproductive health (RH) services.
PM secretary general Judy Ann Miranda said the RH bill?s proposal to provide half-day paid leaves for prenatal consultations would be a big relief to women workers.
?Women workers should not jeopardize their health in exchange for a half-day?s worth of salary within six months of pregnancy,? Miranda said in a statement.
She said that while PM welcomed the labor department?s support for the RH bill to manage population growth, the labor group did not believe that overpopulation should be blamed for the lack of jobs in the country.
?Government officials should neither blame overpopulation for the lack of jobs in the country nor believe that the RH bill is a solution to this problem. Unemployment is a function of bad economic policies not lack of family planning,? Miranda said.
Not a population problem
?Beyond the use of bonuses as incentives to encourage family planning to curb population growth, PM would rather that (the labor department) actively educate and disseminate information on sexuality and reproductive health as a health and human rights concern,? she added.
Miranda said the labor department should also refrain from using the population issue ?in the absence of a comprehensive government plan on job generation.?
?The country?s high unemployment rate is not simply a population problem that will be resolved by the RH bill,? Miranda said.
?The direct profit for a minimum-wage earner of the RH bill is complete, accurate and relevant information, and affordable and accessible family planning and reproductive health care services and commodities,? she added. Philip C. Tubeza