Bonus seen for workers into family planning

Published by rudy Date posted on April 26, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—Should every workplace have its own condom dispenser?

Saying that overpopulation was partly to blame for the lack of jobs in the past decade, labor officials Monday threw their support behind family planning and efforts at reducing the country’s population growth.

Labor Undersecretary Lourdes Trasmonte said the Labor Code mandated the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) to promote family planning and responsible parenthood in the workplace.

“At [the] DoLE, we have been promoting family planning and responsible parenthood because it’s in the Labor Code,” Trasmonte said.

She said the labor department was encouraging workers to manage “the number of children they will have because this will also affect (their) productivity.”

Incentive bonus

Article 134 of the Labor Code says that establishments required by law to maintain a clinic or an infirmary should provide free family planning services to employees which “shall include, but not limited to, the application or use of contraceptive pills and intrauterine devices.”

The provision adds that the DoLE, in coordination with other agencies involved in family planning, should “develop and prescribe incentive bonus schemes to encourage family planning among female workers in any establishment or enterprise.”

Yes to bill

“When there are so many children, (the parents) will always be absent. (They can’t) focus on their work (if) their children are not feeling well. So, even at the start of the Labor Code, there is already that family planning program, which we are promoting as part of our family welfare program,” Trasmonte said.

Asked if this meant that the DoLE was siding with proponents of the reproductive health (RH) bill, Trasmonte said: “Yes, yes because that is in the Labor Code. We are mandated to promote a family planning program as part of the family welfare program.”

However, she said the department was not promoting the distribution of contraceptives among workers but only wanted to convince workers to think about the number of children they were planning.

“Parents should not be burdened so much by so many children because they are also working. How can they work if they have so many children to attend to?” she said.

Trasmonte spoke with reporters after a news briefing on the Philippine Labor and Employment Plan 2011-2016, the government blueprint on labor policies and programs until the end of the Aquino administration.


The plan said one reason “inclusive” employment growth remained “elusive” in the Philippines was “employment growth barely catches up with the population growth” of the country.

Labor Assistant Secretary Teresa Soriano said government officials had agreed that “the final strategy is to manage population growth.”

“What we mean by manage is we try to actually curb the growth in such a way that it is no longer as high as before. That is why we are using the term ‘managed population,’” Soriano said.

She acknowledged that pursuing this approach was “quite difficult” because of opposition from the Church and other groups.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said that “whatever may be the outcome” of the RH bill debate “will already define” the country’ population policy. –Philip Tubeza, Philippine Daily Inquirer

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