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Maternity protection top issue for Philippine unions

10 February, 2015Advancing women workers’ right to maternal health care are one of the top priorities of IndustriALL’s Philippine affiliates. To achieve this goal, unions are working on the ratification of the ILO Maternity Protection Convention.

The Philippines lags behind other Asian countries in terms of providing maternity protection and benefits to women workers.

“More than 60 per cent of all pregnancies in the Philippines are classified as high risk and maternal mortality rate remains high at 162 deaths for every 100,000 live births”, IndustriALL Global Union project coordinator Ramon A Certeza said in a radio interview on 4 February, quoting relevant data from government statistics.

Speaking on behalf of the IndustriALL’s Philippine affiliates, Ramon explained how the issue of maternity protection has gained importance among the unions. The IndustriALL Philippine women’s committee has passed a resolution taking the issue as top priority issue and moved toward campaigning for the ratification of ILO 183.

International Women's Day 8 March

On 8 March, International Women’s day, IndustriALL’s Philippine affiliates are launching a nationwide campaign to improve maternity protection with particular focus on the five core elements of the convention: maternity leave, cash and medical benefits, health protection at the workplace, employment protection and discrimination and breastfeeding arrangement.

“There is legislation and policy issuances pertaining to maternity protection in the Philippines. But more needs to be done and enforcement of these regulations is still problematic”, Certeza concluded.

Ratification of ILO Convention183 would mean no pregnancy discrimination, safe and healthy pregnancies, as well as minimum 14 weeks paid maternity leave for all working women.