House of Representatives in the Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
House of Representatives in the Philippines. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Philippine lawmaker is urging passage of a bill that would grant the spouses of Filipino migrant workers the right to apply for a 15-day special leave of absence from their workplace with full pay.

Linabelle Ruth Villarica, district representative of Bulacan province and a member of the national House of Representatives, said a 15-day paid leave for the spouses of migrant workers would help them attend to the needs of their families, the Manila Bulletin reported.

“Family members left behind are forced to take up additional roles and responsibilities, with spouses of migrant workers taking the role of both mother and father in order to compensate for the absence of the migrant parent,” Villarica said.

Under House Bill 7573, also known as the Special Leave for Overseas Workers’ Spouse Act of 2018, workers applying for the leave would be required to submit to their employers a copy of their marriage contract, their spouse’s passport, and information on their spouse’s work abroad.

“Given the objective of the bill is to protect the Filipino family, its approval is most earnestly sought,” she said.

Persons breaching regulations specified in the bill would be fined not more than 25,000 pesos (US$460) or jailed for one to six months.