The Magna Carta of Women: Knowing Your Rights Under PH Laws

Women In A Workplace

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You’re probably aware of your rights to a sick or vacation leave — heck, you might have used up all your paid leaves by now. But, did you know that the female employees in the Philippines are entitled to special leave benefits as well?

No, we’re not talking about maternity leave. Instead, this is something we can rely on in the event that we go through a medical procedure concerning our reproductive health.

There’s a law that provides for special leave for women (for their reproductive health), protection from discrimination, and equal opportunities — the Republic Act 9710, more popularly known as the Magna Carta of Women. Signed by then-president Gloria Arroyo in 2009. The Magna Carta is a comprehensive women’s rights law that seeks to uphold the rights of Filipinas, especially if they belong to marginalized sectors. It declares that women are entitled to protection from all forms of violence, equal treatment before the law, and equal access to education.

When employment is concerned, the Magna Carta generously gives women the right to take a paid break from work if they undergo surgeries for gynecological disorders.

Your Special Leaves Under the Magna Carta of Women

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Under the Magna Carta of Women, a female employee shall be entitled to up to two months of special leave with full pay following surgery caused by gynecological disorders. This benefit is in addition to leave privileges (sick leaves, vacation leaves, and parental leaves for solo parents) given to employees under existing law.

Among the most common examples of gynecological disorders are dysmenorrhea, uterine fibroids, and polycystic ovarian syndrome or PCOS. But as mentioned, you can’t ask for a two-month leave simply because you’re experiencing painful menstrual cramps (but, we should get a half-day off, at least, right?). The Magna Carta of Women Special Leave Benefits Program only covers female employees who need to undergo gynecological procedures or surgeries, whether it’s a minor or a major one (procedures that require a maximum recovery period of two weeks) or a major one (recovery period ranges from three weeks to two months).

The Guidelines on Availment of Leaves under R.A. 9710 provides a comprehensive list of surgical operations for gynecological disorders covered by the Magna Carta law. This includes procedures of the:

  • Vagina (including:)
    • Vulvectomy
    • Electracautery of vular warts
    • Hymenotomy
    • Colpocleisis (Le Fort type)
    • Colposcopy
  • Cervix (including:)
    • Cervical Biopsy
    • Trachelectomy
    • Trachelorrhaphy
    • Cervical cerclage
    • Hysterorrhaphy of ruptured uterus
  • Uterus (including:)
    • Dilation and Curettage
    • Myomectomy
    • Hysteroplasty (Strassman type)
    • Hysteroscopy (coverage depends on conditions)
  • Ovary (including:)
    • Drainage of ovarian abscess (vaginal approach)
    • Ovarian Cystectomy
    • Oophorectomy (partial or total; unilateral or bilateral)
    • Ovariolysis
  • Breasts (including:)
    • Total Mastectomy
    • Mastectomy (subcutaneous)
    • Excision of cyst, fibroadenoma, or other benign breast masses

How Long Can You Take Leave from Work?

 

Woman In Bed

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Women who are advised to undergo ovarian cyst aspiration, breast biopsy and other gynecological procedures that require two weeks or less of recuperation period may be entitled to up to two weeks of special leave benefits. By contrast, those who have to undergo total abdominal hysterectomy, total mastectomy, and other major procedures may receive two months of special leave benefits.

After all, these surgeries are no small thing. They can take a toll on a woman’s body. In fact, the average recovery period for these procedures is between three weeks to two months. So, if you had to endure a major gynecological surgery, it is only fitting that your employer gives you the adequate rest you deserve.

So, Are You Qualified for this Benefit?

Woman Working In PC

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If you’re an employee in the private sector, you qualify for a Magna Carta special leave for women provided that you comply with the following conditions:

  • You have rendered at least six months of continuous work for the last twelve months before the surgery;
  • You have filed an application for special leave within a reasonable period of time from the expected date of surgery (except in cases requiring emergency gynecological procedure); If you work in the government sector,  you have to file at least five days prior.Required documents are 1) the leave form used by your organization; and 2) a medical certificate issued by a competent medical authority, preferably one who specializes in gynecological disorders. The med cert should come with a clinical summary of the gynecological disorder, a histopathological report, the appropriate operative technique, duration of surgery, period of confinement, and period of recuperation.
  • You have undergone a procedure due to a gynecological disease certified by a competent physician

Again, the special leave benefits under the Magna Carta may entitle you to full pay for two months, which includes your basic monthly income and mandatory allowances. You should remember, however, that these special benefits are non-cumulative and non-convertible to cash (like your unused sick or vacation leaves) unless otherwise stated in the company rules.

Of course, these benefits are some of the things you should never wish for. But at least, with the existence of Magna Carta of Women Special Leave Benefits Program, you can rest assured knowing that the company you serve eight hours a day, five days a week will take care of you during one of the most difficult times in your life.

Here are a few more points to remember about your special leaves:

  • Cash Conversion. Your special benefits are non-cumulative and non-convertible to cash unless otherwise stated by your company.
  • SSS Benefit. The MCW Special Leave benefit is different from the SSS Sickness benefit. An MCW leave is given to you by your employer if you undergo surgery for your gynecological disorder. An SSS sickness benefit, meanwhile, is given by SSS in accordance with Republic Act 1161.
  • You can avail the MCW Special Leave for every instance of surgery covered by the law for a total of two months or 60 calendar days per year.
  • Recovery beyond the MCW Special Leave. If your doctor prescribes more than 60 days of recuperation (which is more than what the Magna Carta allows for), you have to turn to your sick leaves or charge it to your vacation leaves if the former is exhausted.

Also Read: Know & Exercise Your Rights: Legal Benefits for the Filipina Supermom

Provisions under the Magna Carta for Women

The Magna Carta for women also upholds the rights of women in the Philippines to have equal opportunities in education, employment, civil service, and more.

The law enshrines, among others:

Protection for Women

  • Protection from all forms of violence, including those committed by the State
  • Protection from sexual exploitation and gender-based violence

Equality

  • Female participation and representation in third-level civil service, political parties, development councils and planning bodies, and international bodies
  • Equal participation in competitive and non-competitive sports
  • Equal rights in all matters relating to marriage and family relations

Non-Discrimination of Women

  • Elimination of discrimination against women in education, scholarships, and training
  • Non-discrimination in employment in the military, police, and similar services
  • Non-derogatory portrayal pf women in media and film

In essence, the Magna Carta of Women is a testament that the State supports the right of Filipinas to stay safe, to participate in social and economic development, and to achieve self-fulfillment. It is our duty to learn these rights and uphold them for ourselves, and for every Filipina.

(This article was origanlly published on Sept. 20, 2017, and has been updated on September 2019, with additional text from Renee Marsha Babao)

70 Responses

  1. Marinell Rivera

    Good morning po, I gave birth last February 16, 2018. Unfortunately, I was diagnosed last February 22 of urinary bladder rupture, complications from giving birth. Am I qualified for the Magna Carta Law?

    Reply
    • MommyI

      Hi, sorry to butt in. I believe you are still on mandatory leave when it happened, I guess you will extend a few more days recovery.

      Reply
  2. Kath

    Hi, I just had a myomectomy procedure. Last week, but in September, I filed for a vacation leave. Am I still entitled to this benefit? Thank you.

    Reply
  3. Marivic Peco

    Ma’am.
    I would like to know if calculous cholecystitis is covered by magna carta for women? I had my operation last October 3, 2018, is it still covered?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Marivic, it should be covered. Please consult your HR rep about the process. Thanks.

      Reply
  4. Sahlee C. Suniga

    Hi good evening! just want to ask my case regarding dilatation and curettage due to thickened lining of my uterus.As regular/permanent employee in public school (5 yrs. in service) Am i entitled for 60 days leave with pay? if not, what benefits can I avail ? thank you and God bless!

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Ma’am we believe so that you have entitled to the benefits under the law. But we recommend you talk to your school administrator or ACT representative about this so you can find out the full process. Thanks.

      Reply
  5. aaliyah

    Hi, the company approved only 10 days magnacarta leave for my D&C operation, beyond 10 days, they asked me to resubmit updated medical treatment report. Now they are saying that over the approved 10 days file SLs or VLs, can they do this? My OB did not want to give me fit to work and has reiterated in the medical report the recuperation days she previously stated. Factors she considered was my age, my arythmia and that I have to travel 3 hours and 5 rides just to get to work.

    Reply
  6. Ana

    I am just wondering….when you refer “two months” or 60days leaves…does it mean two months or 60 working days? How will i count my days of leave?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Ana,

      We believe it’s 60 calendar days, so weekend’s included. But please consult your HR for clarification.

      Reply
  7. Jenny

    Hi! I am a teacher and have abnormal bleeding that happens everymonth. I was diagnosed with PCOS (right ovary) and refused to have it removed since I am married and I want to have even just one child. I am having medication and the DR said it will take 3-6 months and we’ll try if it works. The medicines have side effects that made me leave work most of the time and there are times when I feel like I was being stabbed while I’m at work. Are women like me who refuse surgery and under the process of medication enduring to grab that little chance of having a child not qualified for this Special Leave Benefit ma’am?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Mam,

      The law cites “Leave benefits of two (2) months with full pay based on gross monthly compensation for women employees who undergo surgery caused by gynecological disorders” We recommend consulting your HR or women’s rights NGOs who can assist you with your other concerns. We recommend this group: https://www.facebook.com/womenslegalbureau/

      Reply
  8. Jane Monique

    Gaano po katagal bago makuha yung 2months pay. Kasi na operahan po ako sa fallopian tube hung October then na file ko na sya ng November nag follow up na po ako. But usually how long would it take po ba ? Thank you

    Reply
      • Jeanette

        Hi Mam,

        Ask ko lang po if pwede paba ako maka avail sa aking Magna Carta naoperahan po kasi ako ectopic pregnancy last Dec 8. 2018, then noong nag file ako ng SSS Maternity Reimbursement sabi kasi ng company nurse no need na daw kasi may SSS maternity na. Pero now may nakapagsabi sa akin kasi partner niya naoperahan din ng ectopic tapos nakatanggap siya ng sss mat.reimbursement + Magna Carta niya. Pwede paba ako maka claim sa aking Magna Carta since matagal-tagal napo akong naoperahan, meron naman po akong mga documents na kinikeep.

      • Grisel Garcia

        Hi Jeanette,

        There is a provision in the Magna Carta law that you should inform your employer of your intent to file for the leave prior to your surgery. If you did not, your employer may have reasons not to approve it, depending on your company policy. We recommend consulting DOLE so you can get more information about your case. Thanks.

  9. Erica

    Hello ang good day!
    I just want to clarify if Magna Carta benefit is mandatory. Because my company hr told me that they don’t pay their employees for this because they say they don’t have this.
    Can I submit a complain about it?

    Reply
  10. Arma

    Hello! Will the magna carta also apply if an unmarried public school teacher becomes pregnant?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Arma,

      The Magna Carta applies if you’ll have surgery caused by gynecological disorders. It’s not similar to maternity leaves. Thanks,

      Reply
      • Kyliek

        Hi, off the topic question lang po. Hopefully you can also answer. For 5th pregnancy there is no reimbursement na diba?does that mean wala na tlga makukuha ung member at all regardless sa mga contributions nya?Thanks in advance

  11. Andrea

    Good day Mam,
    Ask ko lang po if qualified po kaya ako for magna carta benifits regular employee po ako at kaka 7 months pa lng sa company nung naoperahan po ako ovarian cyst laparotomy salphingo ophorectomy.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Andrea,

      Your situation is a bit complicated and we are not qualified to give you advice on this. I suggest consulting a lawyer or women’s rights NGOs who can assist regarding your case. We recommend this group: https://www.facebook.com/womenslegalbureau/. Hope you get assistance for this. Thanks.

      Reply
  12. Belle

    Hi Madam,

    First off thanks a lot for this article as it helped me a lot to understand my benefits as a women.

    As for my case, I wanted to know whether I’m entitled with both benefits of Magna Carta and Expanded Maternity Leave under the provisions of miscarriages.

    My baby’s heartbeat stopped last February 26 and I took a leave starting March 11 since I was advised to have the miscarriage at home. I still am not qualified for D&C as per my doctor as of since my cervix is still closed and was advised to take medication to dilate the cervix and trigger bleeding.

    My question is what leaves can I apply from SSS and Magna Carta for my case? Yes, this is considered as miscarriage but the baby is still inside and we’re just waiting for miscarriage to happen.

    The company is notified though of my situation (my boss and HR). But both are not sure under what leave I should apply for starting March 11.

    Sorry for the long post. More power to you!

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Belle,

      We’re sorry to hear about your condition. I’m afraid we’re not qualified to give you advice on this, but your HR should be responsible for finding out what would be applicable to your case. It’s their job to give you assistance on this. I suggest consulting a lawyer or women’s rights NGOs who can provide advice and assistance. We recommend this group: https://www.facebook.com/womenslegalbureau/. We hope you’ll have a safe operation . Thanks.

      Reply
  13. Enna

    I have PID but haven’t got the results of ultrasound. Am I entitled to this leave?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Enna,

      The Magna Carta applies if you’ll have surgery to treat your condition. Thanks.

      Reply
  14. Michell Perez

    Hi Maam,
    I just want to inquire if i can be qualified of magna carta base on my med. Cert undermnet dragnostic D&C w/ polymectomy on march 29, 2019 for abnormal uterine bleeding. I already submitted the said requirements for filing sss sickness reimbursent and magna carta but hr said that they need it to verify if i am qualified for magna carta since there is nothing that was remove in my gynecological. Im I still be qualified for magna carta ?

    Reply
  15. Arleen

    I was Tahbs last 2 years ago, they took my Uterus & fallopian tube but left my 2 Ovaries since it was ok as per my OB says. Was able to avail the Magna Carta then. I was fully compensated for 2 months by my employer, really appreciate that..
    But after that 2 years, I was diagnose of Ovarian New Growth and had to undergo again Bilateral Oophorectomy because the Cyst were too big that give me too much pain no matter what meds to take wont give me relief. Now, my question is this, am I still entitled for yet another Magna Carta benefit for the removal of both my Ovaries? Thank U if u can enlighten me on this.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Arleen,

      Yes, you are entitled to Magna Carta leaves. The law sites that you can avail this up to 60 calendar days per year. Thanks.

      Reply
  16. Kat Vi

    Hi, i just want to ask about my case transpired yesterday afternoon while im on duty at work (a 4 days out duty in a private company with minimum required rest period on each day) i suffered a threatened miscarriage resulted to an emergency D&C surgery. I wasnt aware that im 10 to 11 weeks pregnant because theres no manifestation except for an inconsistent bleeding/spotting for two months (lasting for 3-5 days) which to my understanding was just a regular period.
    Yesterday due to stress and lack of rest period, at around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, I started discharging again. I was too skeptical at first until I felt too much abdominal pain and heavy blood flow with whole big pieces blood 2 hours after the first discharge.
    I was currently on duty and asked to be relelieved from my duty in that moment.
    Medical attention was sought immediately. I was brought to the clinic first then tranported via ambulance to the nearest hospital where i was attended by an ob gynecologist. A diagnosis was given but due to limited services of rhe hospital and unavailability of a room for me to be admitted, I was endorsed and transported to another hospital.
    I underwent an emergency ultrasound.
    Thickening and bleeding of my uterine lining was seen, however my official OB is only available in the morning (10-12am).
    I was brought to a semi private room (only available room) to have a rest and have fasting to get ready for my trasvaginal ultrasound at around 9am. ( i was settled in my room at around 2am in the morning).
    After they had the all necessary results of everything, I was scheduled for an emergency D&C surgery.
    I felt so good the moment I woke up from the operation.
    I was allowed to eat and drink after a long fasting.
    I also finished my 3rd bottle of dextrose then my IV was removed.
    As of this moment while writing this, I would know everthing tomorrow when the ob comes here (not sure what time tho). I will be spending another night here at the hospital.
    Now my concerns are the following:
    > is there a company liability? Given the fact that im on duty when it occured and already fatigued due to continuous duty days with minimum rest period given (coz thats the policy of my company)?
    >if yes what are those and why?
    >if no, why none?
    >is it mandatory to file foa a maternity leave/magna carta for women?
    or can this be charged as sick leave only with 2-3 weeks or so leave wo pay so I can return to work within this month with the doctor’s and company’s approval (which i prefer if possible coz im a single mother of 3).
    >im still their employee, so for sure there are some differences with their policies compared to what is in the labor code of the phils. (im working for a private sector)

    Well thats all for tonight. Everything will be discussed by the doctor tomorrow, perhaps I can also ask for her opinion about this (depending on the recommendation of hers)

    I look forward for the answers and suggetions.
    Thank you so much!

    Reply
  17. Joyce

    Hi gud am,I’m Joyce. Last June 24,2019 I undergo fractional d and c due to endometrial hyperplasia. Am I qualified for magnacarta benefits?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Joyce, kindly consult your HR. Part of the condition for Magna Carta leave is it should be filed prior to the surgery, unless it was an emergency surgery.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  18. jen

    hi! i had a salpingectomy procedure (removal of fallopian tube) done on june 11, 2019 due to ectopic pregnancy. i am currently on maternity leave. is the operation covered by the magna carta law?

    Reply
  19. Anndee

    Hi as the maternity leave was amended for 105 days, if you have a major surgery related to reproductive organs such as myomectomy (laparotmy) are you also entitled for 105 days leave considering that this is also a related issue.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      As of now, the Magna Carta law limits the leave to 2 months.

      Reply
  20. Marie

    Hi!

    I would like to know if I am still entitled to the MCW even we have the HMO from the company.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      HI Marie,

      Yes, you are. Your HMO is a separate cover. The Magna Carta allows you to go on 60 days leave with full pay.

      Reply
  21. Lilian O. Pinon

    Hi!
    Just like to ask if i am entitle to to magna carta? I had right breast mastectomy last April 26, 2019.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Lilian,

      Please check with your HR. From what we know you have to apply for the benefits before undergoing the procedure. But best to ask your HR about it.

      Thanks.

      Reply
  22. Teresa Tijol

    I undergo Radio Therapy for 30 days. Thus us due to decurrence jf my breast cancer which advanced to Stage 4, lung Metastasis. Am I entled to leave benefit under MAgna carta for Women?

    Nag mastectomy po ako 2012; nag pachemo 2017. Pero nag recur siya Ngayong 2019 at narecomend fir radio therspy.

    Reply
  23. Nina

    If a patient underwent Hysterescopic
    Myomectomy followed by endometrial curettage is this covered by Magna Carta for women?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  24. Manna

    Hi Grisel ,
    Is D&C is different gyne operation from hysteryctomy . I had my D&C just this month and my doctor advise me to have 60days Sl , however hysterectomy operation is possibly be schedule this year. How would SL computed with this? Please enlighten ?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Manna,

      The Magna Carta leave can only be availed once in a calendar year. It’s best to consult your HR about this, though. Thanks.

      Reply
  25. Charity

    I was adv.to have my gallbladder remove due to chronic cholecystitis with cholelithiases. Is it cover with magna carta? And if it is will I still be able to get the sickness benefits from SSS as well? Thanks

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Charity,

      The Magna Carta leave only covers Gynecological procedures. Thanks.

      Reply
  26. Nancy

    Hi. I am currently 8 weeks pregnant and my previous endometrial polyp recurred. I need to undergo surgery to remove the polyp in order to prevent miscarriage. Am I qualified to take the magna carta leave? Thanks

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Nancy,

      Please consult your HR or DOLE regarding your case, as we are not equipped to advise you on the intricacies of the law. Thanks.

      Reply
  27. Tga

    Hi, I had a Biopsy and Hysteroscopy last June 17 and was able to avail of the 60 day Magna Carta Leave. However, my Dr suggests that we do a total Hysterectomy. Can I again avail of another Magna Carta Leave for 2 mos?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Tga,

      You can only avail of the leave once every calendar year (12 months). Thanks.

      Reply
  28. Effryl T. Corsiga

    hi po! nanganak po ako last July 8, 2019 cs operation. Nakita po ng OB ko yung myoma ko na halos singlaki na pala ng kamao ko ang laki kaya ipinasya nyang tanggalin na din. last 2017 pa po namin minomonitor ang myoma ko and just before i got pregnant, 2-3 cms lang ang laki nya according to ultrasound kaya nagulat po kami na ganun na kalaki. ang tanong ko lang po, maaari ko po bang i file sa sickness sa sss yun bukod sa maternity ko?

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Effryl,

      We recommend consulting DOLE or SSS regarding your case, as we are not equipped to advise you on the intricacies of the law. Thanks.

      Reply
  29. Erma

    Good morning. I recently had a hysterectomy (TAHBSO). According to my company, the Magna Carta for Women on Leave does not apply to us employees as we have in our contract a No Work, No Pay scheme. Please enlighten me as to my chances of getting the benefit or I really do not have any because of what is in the contract? Thank you and good day!

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Erma,

      We recommend consulting DOLE or a lawyer regarding your case, as we are not equipped to advise you on the intricacies of the law. But there is also a provision in the law that you should file for the Magna Carta leave prior to your surgery, and not after. Thanks.

      Reply
  30. Nora F Cleofe

    Is this Magna Charta for Women benefit on paid leaves exclusive to medical cases on gynecology only? What about other serious medical case like cerebral vascular disease/infarct (stroke) like what happened to my sis who is a public school teacher and who’d like to apply this law for her paid leave as required by her doctor?

    Pls respond.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Nora,

      Yes, the Magna Carta leave only covers Gynecological procedures. You may consult this Guideline for more information. Thanks.

      Reply
      • Mae

        Hi good eve!
        Ask lang po ako. Magpapaopera po kc ako next month dahil sa chocolate cyst sa ovary. Entitled dn po ba ako sa mcw? Kasi under agency po ako. Pero mag 2 years na po aq sa work ko. Thanks po.

      • Grisel Garcia

        Hi Mae,

        Do you have an employee-employer contract with your company, and do they shoulder part of your SSS payment? If you don’t have such contract, you can avail of the SSS benefits but not the MCW leave. It’s best to consult your agency or the company’s HR regarding your case. Thanks.

  31. M

    Hi. I just learned about the MCW special leave benefit when our company had a resource speaker from the labor sector recently.
    I had undergone a hysterectomy last 2016. Am I still eligible to avail of the MCW special leave benefit? Prior to my surgery, I was not informed about such benefit.
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi M,

      You have to file for the leave prior to your surgery, otherwise you may not be entitled to the benefits. Thanks.

      Reply
  32. Myra C. Miralles

    hello po

    is tubal ligation covered under the magna carta for women
    thanks

    Reply
    • Grisel Garcia

      Hi Myra, tubal ligation is not a gynecological disorder so it’s not covered. Thanks.

      Reply

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