After former senator and presidential candidate Ping Lacson dismissed the paid menstrual leave bill, netizens are criticizing the seasoned lawmaker and former police general for his comments, asking him to show some compassion towards women who want to see this approved.
Rep. Arlene Brosas of the Gabriela Women’s Party-list filed House Bill 7758, which seeks to grant women a maximum of two days of paid leave each month for painful periods.
If passed into law, the Philippines would join a number of countries that also offer paid menstrual leave for its employees such as Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, Zambia, and most recently, Spain — which mandated menstrual leave in February.
Yet while some Filipinos, especially women, lauded the bill, Lacson joined the greater chorus of people who did not understand the bill’s necessity — and the fact that periods can cause severe pain among some women due to a number of conditions such as endometriosis.
“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 wrote on Twitter.
The lawmaker argued that if the bill becomes law, it would become unfavorable for employers to sustain an additional 24 leaves each year, claiming it would cause “economic, political, and social instability.”
This did not sit well with a number of social media users, who argued that Lacson cared more about businesses than people.
“At least you’re broadcasting to the world how much you hate women and reproductive health,” one wrote.
“Is it wrong to be concerned about the welfare of employees who breathe life into the economy? Good thing you didn’t win as president,” another tweeted.
“Men have it so easy. They don’t deal with monthly pain nor bear children for nine months. But women, despite experiencing all these, are still highly discriminated against especially in the workforce. You probably think this is a walk in the park for us,” another said.
Rep. Brosas’ bill proposes for these leaves to be non-cumulative and non-convertible to cash. This means if women don’t choose to take their entitled menstrual leaves for the month, they can’t save up their leaves at a later time, nor can they opt to exchange these for bonuses.
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Filipinos’ reactions to menstrual leave bill show how little we continue to value women in the workplace
Rep. Arlene Brosas of the Gabriela Women’s Party-list filed a bill that would give women a two-day leave from menstrual cramps, but was met with derision by ignorant Filipinos online. Read more.
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