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As the nation celebrates Women’s Month this March, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) urged government agencies to consider the unique needs of women in the workplace.

The CSC said that more women are now engaged in professional work, even if their domestic roles remain prominent.

In the latest Inventory of Government Human Resources, statistics show that there are slightly more women than men in the civil service. Out of 1,728,641 government workers, 50.88% are female while 49.12% are male.

More women occupy second level positions (professional, technical, scientific, executive/managerial) than men with 659,687 female civil servants and only 485,796 males. Males dominate first level positions (clerical, trades, crafts, custodial service) at 256,275 versus 140,133 females.

The CSC said human resource (HR) programs and policies should help women become successful in their multiple roles and achieve work-life balance.

Extended maternity leave

As the premier HR institution of the Philippine government, the CSC continues to pursue HR reforms that support female government workers throughout their career.

On 1 May 2019, the CSC, together with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and Social Security System (SSS), issued the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 11210 or the Expanded Maternity Leave Law. The IRR defines the rules for availing of the expanded maternity leave.

Under R.A. 11210, which took effect on 11 March 2019, women who underwent live childbirth are entitled to 105 days maternity leave with full pay, with an option to extend for 30 days without pay. On top of 105 days, solo parents are entitled to 15 more days of maternity leave.

Meanwhile, women who suffered miscarriage or emergency termination of pregnancy, or delivered stillbirth, can avail of 60 days maternity leave with full pay.

Female employees in the government service can avail of maternity leave under R.A. No. 11210 regardless of their employment/appointment status, whether permanent, temporary, casual, contractual, provisional, substitute, coterminous, or fixed term.

The law also does not distinguish civil status, length of service, employment status, and legitimacy of the child in granting the benefit.

Meanwhile, the 105-day maternity leave may also be allocated to the child’s father or an alternate caregiver who may be a relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity or current partner sharing the same household. The allocation will be on top of the 7-day paternity leave that male government employees may avail of as well.

Special leave

Even before R.A. No. 11210, the CSC has already issued leave benefits that recognize the unique needs of women. This includes the special leave benefits for women under Republic Act No. 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women (MCW). In CSC Resolution No. 1000432 issued 22 November 2010, the CSC set guidelines on the availment of special leave benefit for qualified female public sector employees who have undergone surgery caused by gynecological disorders, pursuant to the provisions and implementing rules and regulations of the MCW.

Per the resolution, any female public sector employee, regardless of age and civil status are entitled to a special leave of a maximum of two months with full pay based on her gross monthly compensation, provided she has rendered at least six (6) months aggregate service in any or various government agencies for the last twelve (12) months prior to undergoing surgery for gynecological disorders.

Generally, availment of the said special leave benefit should be in accordance with the List of Surgical Operations for Gynecological Disorders, which reflects, among others, the estimated periods of recuperation from surgery due to the specific gynecological disorder.

The leave may be filed in advance or at least five (5) days prior to the gynecological surgery. In case of emergency surgical procedures, the leave may be filed immediately upon return to work. The leave application should be accompanied by a medical certificate and clinical summary.

Women’s Month

CSC joins the Philippine government in observing the 2020 National Women’s Month Celebration (NWMC). The 2017-2022 theme, “We Make Change Work for Women”, highlights the empowerment of women as active contributors to and claimholders of development.

The NWMC also encourages women to take an active role in their communities and in the government in discussing good practices or identifying challenges in the pursuit of women empowerment.