A new law prohibits discrimination against Filipino women
On November 29, the House of Representatives passed House Bill No. 4470, commonly known as the Anti-Discrimination of Women in Their Workplaces Bill, with the support of 248 MPs.
The new law will have an impact on the extension of a list of prohibited actions under the Philippine Labor Code, such as discrimination against any female employee regarding terms and conditions of employment purely on the basis of gender.
According to the bill, a Filipino firm is also prohibited from laying off or dismissing a female employee because she is pregnant, as well as when she is on leave or confined because of her pregnancy.
Additionally, the law increases monetary penalties from 10,000 to 20,000 pesos (US$200 to $400) to 50,000 to 200,000 pesos (US$1,000 to 4,000).
Private businesses applauded the legislation acknowledging the importance of women in the workplace.
“We are in the new century where women play a vital role in various corporate positions. Many chief executive officers in Philippine corporations are women,” Manila hardware businessman Lorenz Francia told UCA News.
Francia highlighted a number of Chinese-Filipina women who, through tenacity and manual labour, created vast empires.
“Mica Tan, for instance, began trading equities at the Philippine Stock Exchange at the age of 13. She cofounded the MFT Group, a global private equity firm, in 2009 when she was just 19 years old, and it now has offices in 9 countries and 19 cities, Francia added.
A World Economic Forum survey claims that the wealth that Filipino men and women have amassed is not as equal as it should be.
When both sexes reach retirement age at 60, the survey found that Filipina women only have 79% of men’s wealth.
According to Filipino anthropologist Oscar Reyes, “you observe that there is a wealth disparity between men and women in the Philippines specifically because of job and employment prospects.”