Menstrual leave may lead to layoffs, business closures — Lacson

workers living wages

Female workers at a medicine factory in the Philippines (AFP FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines — Former Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson on Sunday insisted that implementing a proposed law allowing on paid menstrual leaves would be counterproductive since employers might not be able to provide an additional 24 days of leave per year and may eventually result in layoffs and business closures.

Lacson earlier drew flak from his social media post where he stated: “Maternity leave, paternity leave  and now, menstrual leave – all with pay. Next time, a legislative measure will be filed mandating menopause and andropause allowances to increase the testosterone levels of workers.”

Lacson said the economic implications of menstrual leaves may end up in layoffs and even closure of some factories.

“What the proponents of the two-day-a-month menstrual-leave-with-pay measure and the ordinary working woman in this country may not realize is the impact of an additional 24 days a year of leave with pay on top of the 105 days of maternity leave, 7 days of paternity leave, 5 days of sick leave, including the 13-18 days of vacation leave every year (convertible to cash if unused) which could lead to layoffs or even the closing of some factories that may not have the wherewithal to cope with the burden of complying with all these privileges,” he pointed out.

He added that passing such measures may also discourage long-term investments by prospective employers.

“It is good to be perceived as pro labor, especially among the 49 percent women population, but we should also take into consideration the long term effect on the country’s investment climate in particular and the economy in general,” he said.

“We should look at the forest, not the trees,” he said.

Gabriela Women’s party-list Rep. Arlene Brosas on Wednesday filed a measure that would allow women to take a paid two-day “menstrual leave” per month.

Despite Lacson’s claims, some countries globally have already successfully passed a similar measure –  Spain, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Zambia.

Meanwhile, netizens have not taken Lacson’s tweet lightly.

Some pointed out the timing of Lacson’s posts which came during the celebration of Women’s Month.

Many also countered Lacson by sharing their struggles and experiences on menstruation, pointing out that politicians who are against improving labor conditions do not deserve a position in public service.

“Wow, anti-employee and anti-women sir pick a struggle,” one user wrote.


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