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

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 you are entitled to special leave for women under Philippine law?

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 for women 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 and you can look up if your gynecological condition is covered. 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 covered by said program, 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 Special 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, Do You Qualify for this Special Leave Benefit?

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If you’re an employee in the private sector, you qualify for a Magna Carta special leave benefits 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.

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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


  • 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 originally published on Sept. 20, 2017, and has been updated on September 2019, with additional text from Renee Marsha Babao)

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  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

    • Hi Ana,

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

  • 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?

    • 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:

  • 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

      • 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.

        • 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.

  • 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?

    • Hi Arma,

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

      • 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

  • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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: We hope you’ll have a safe operation . Thanks.

    • Hi Enna,

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

  • 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 ?

  • 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.

    • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

    • 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.


  • 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?

  • 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.

    • 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.

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

    Thank you.

    • 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.


  • 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.

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

    Thank you.

  • 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 ?

    • 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.

  • I was 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

  • 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

    • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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?

    • 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.

  • 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!

    • 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.

  • 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.

      • 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.

        • 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.

  • 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.

    • Hi M,

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

  • Hello maam, may I just inquire about my case, I had myomectomy last april, can I be able to avail double pay like in maternity leave cases, im employed as a teacher in public.

  • Hi,

    i would like to ask if primary diagnosis is severe anemia and secondary diagnosis is Abnormal Uterine Bleeding and what was done is the removal of IUD can that be file under MCW special leave benefit. I have the clinical abstract form and shows Surgical: IUD removal. thanks

    • Hi Kaye, as long as gynecological procedure is involved, it can be filed under MCW. However, it should be filed prior to your procedure. Thanks.

  • Good Day,
    Ask ko lang po kung puwede po bang mag claim ulit if july 2019 nakapag claim na ng magna carta tapos this January 2020 magki claim po ulit tapos same case po? Thank you po.

    • Hi Lene,

      “Section 6 of the DOLE Department Order No. 112-A Series of 2012:
      Frequency of availment. – A woman employee can avail of the special leave benefit for every instance of surgery due to gynecological disorder for a maximum total period of two (2) months per year.” Thanks.

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