Hontiveros wants cash aid for pregnant informal sector workers

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(FILE PHOTO)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 16) — Senator Risa Hontiveros filed a bill to give maternity cash aid for pregnant workers in the informal sector.

"Dahil may krisis sa bansa, lahat ng tao sa tahanan ay napipilitang mag-ambag sa gastusin. Kaya tuloy napakaraming mga buntis ang patuloy sa pagkayod, kahit pa sa ilalim ng informal economy kahit wala silang maaasahang maternity benefits dito. Malapit man silang manganak, nagtatrabaho pa rin sila sa mga palengke at mga serbisyong home-based dahil wala silang maiuuwing kita kung hindi sila magpupursige. Kailangan natin silang tulungan," Hontiveros said in a statement Sunday.

[Translation: Because of the crisis in the country, everyone in the home is forced to contribute to expenses. This is why so many pregnant women continue to work, even under the informal economy even if they do not receive maternity benefits. Even if they are close to giving birth, they continue to work in markets and other home-based services because they will not earn otherwise. We have to help them.]

Under the bill, pregnant workers in the sector who are not SSS members will receive a one-time cash aid from the DSWD which is equivalent to the prevailing minimum wage in their region multiplied by 22 days.

According to her statement, funding for the aid would be collected from excise taxes on sweetened beverages, alcohol and tobacco products, and may be augmented by appropriations under the yearly national budget.

"A maternity benefit for women workers in the informal economy is not just a social justice measure and an important way to address the multiple burdens and increased vulnerabilities of women who are also mothers and informal workers, it also leads to demonstrable and quantifiable health outcomes at the population level," Hontiveros said in the bill.