Gabriela Partylist on March 22 filed House Bill 7758, or the proposed Menstrual Leave Act.
According to Gabriela, the proposed legislation "seeks to provide women with the flexibility and support they need to manage their reproductive health without the fear of negative consequences such as losing pay, falling behind in work, or facing disciplinary action."
If the bill is passed into law, all female employees in the public and private sectors—except pregnant and menopausal women—will be granted a menstrual leave of a maximum of two days per month with 100 percent daily remuneration, regardless of the nature or status of their employment.
However, it does not cover employers already granting menstrual leaves or its equivalent, nor is it cumulative or convertible to cash.
People, corporations, trusts, firms, partnerships, associations, or entities who are found violating the act face at the very least penalties of a P100,000-or-less fine or imprisonment of 30 days to six months.
"Dysmenorrhea is often poorly treated and ignored by health professionals, pain researchers, and even women themselves, who may accept it as a normal part of menstruation. However, the painful and often unbearable symptoms of menstruation create considerable burdens on women and their families, such as over-the-counter medication," the bill's explanatory note stated.
Asian countries that already offer menstrual leaves to female employees include Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and a Chinese province.
Gabriela pointed out that Philippine local government units already implement similar measures like menstruation day work-from-home privilege.