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

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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.

The Magna Carta of Women

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Under the Republic Act 9710, also known as 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.

How Long Can You Take a Leave from Work?

 

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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?

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If you’re an employee in the private sector, you qualify for special leave benefits 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);
  • You have undergone a procedure due to a gynecological disease certified by a competent physician

Again, the special leave benefits 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.

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

29 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
  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
  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

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