Hontiveros optimistic PRRD will sign pet bills into law

MANILA Senator Risa Hontiveros on Thursday said she is confident that President Rodrigo Duterte would sign several bills that she authored and sponsored into law.

Hontiveros was referring to the HIV-AIDS Policy Act, the Expanded Maternity Leave Act and the Special Protection of Children in Situations of Armed Conflict (CISAC) Act, which were ratified by Congress early this month before adjourning for a month-long break.

These bills are among several proposed laws ratified by Congress that are just awaiting President Duterte's signature before they become into law.

Appearing at the Kapihan sa Senado news forum, Hontiveros said she sees no reason why Duterte would veto the proposed measures.

Sana naman pirmahan niya. I don't see na may dahilan para i-veto niya ito (I hope he signs them. I don't see any reason for him to veto them), Hontiveros said.

The chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality told reporters that one of the major reasons for her confidence is President Duterte's advocacy on the protection of women and children when he was still mayor of Davao City.

Alalahanin natin na sa matagal na panahon na siya ay mayor sa Davao City, e meron din naman silang ipinasang katulad na ordinansa on HIV and AIDS, on children and even women (Let us remember that in his long tenure as Davao City mayor, they have passed similar ordinances on HIV and AIDS, on children and even women), Hontiveros noted.

At kung hindi man niya pirmahan, okay din lang. Magla-lapse into law after 30 days (And even if he does not sign them, it is still okay. These will lapse into law after 30 days)," she added.

The proposed HIV/AIDS Policy Act seeks to strengthen the existing policy aimed at preventing further spread of HIV and AIDS in the country.

Under the bill, the government is mandated to improve access to HIV services, especially for key populations and vulnerable communities, and ensure social and financial risk protection for those who need to access these services.

It also aims to allocate more funds to HIV prevention, diagnosis and treatment, and require up-to-date education about HIV and AIDS in schools, communities, workplaces and vulnerable areas.

The bill also mandates the government to enhance anti-discrimination protection to promote the human rights of Filipinos living with HIV, key populations and vulnerable communities, and providers of HIV services.

Meanwhile, under the proposed Expanded Maternity Leave Act, 105 days of paid maternity leave will be given to all working mothers.

Of this number, seven days are transferable to fathers in what is called a "daddy quota."

An additional 15 days would be given to solo working mothers, for a total of 120 days of paid maternity leave.

Mothers also have the option to extend their leave for an additional 30 days without pay.

These provisions would apply to all instance of pregnancies.

Under the current law, women are only allowed 60 days of paid maternity leave and the maternity leaves are limited to four pregnancies.

On the other hand, the proposed CISAC law provides protection to all children in situations of armed conflict from abuse, violence, neglect, cruelty, discrimination and other conditions prejudicial to their development. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency