THE Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) announced it will be supporting two pending “pro-women” legislation in Congress to boost the protection of female workers in the workplace.
This was bared by DOLE Undersecretary Jacinto V. Paras in a news briefing last week. Paras said the government agency would endorse the passage of the amendment in the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law and the Expanded Maternity leave bill in time for the celebration of Women’s Month.
For the amendment of the Anti-Sexual Harassment Law, he said they will submit their position paper once they are asked by lawmakers to do so. The proposed law in the Senate and the House of Representatives will expand the coverage of sexual harassment so it will not only occur person to person.
“With the new bill, it [sexual harassment] could also happen through your e-mail or any device with social media. You can be sued for it,” Paras said. “The secretary will write the Senate of our endorsement of that bill.”
Paras is referring to Senate Bill 1251 or the gender-based electronic violence bill filed by Sen. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel.
He added that despite the opposition of employers against the Expanded Maternity Bill, the DOLE would support the new legislation “since it will allow mothers to provide longer and better care for their newborns.”
Under the pending SB 1305, which was also filed by Hontiveros, maternity leaves will be expanded to 120 days, while paternity leaves will leave will be extended to 30 days.
“We are amendable to that…because [the] DOLE is always for the welfare of the workers,” Paras said.
If approved, he said the DOLE believes both legislations are expected to improve the participation of women in the workplace.