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Parents from all over the world: the Philippines

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In this article we talked about Joyce and her life as a mom in the British capital. Today we drop by in Southeast Asia learning from Abigael’s story in the Philippines.

Mother of a 3 year old and a 5 month old baby, Abigael, who has a degree in nursing, is a full-time mom in Cavite, a city near the capital Manila. Typically in the Philippines, moms are the ones who take care of household chores, while dads are the ones that provide financially for the family.

 

The Filipino culture, as well as many countries, has always taught these separate roles between parents. However today, there are more and more moms who prefer to work to financially help at home. It is also facilitated by the “yaya” which are baby sitters and household chores keepers. Hiring “yayas” is very common the Philippines.

Working moms have privileges in certain circumstances. Maternity leave lasts up to 90 days. There are also laws that help single mothers and married ones. For example, they can have temporary leave if their child is sick or needs hospital. There are also reductions of taxes for working mothers, in particular for single moms.

In many cases, there are mothers who work abroad, often leaving their children with relatives for many years. They will then become OFWs (Overseas Filipino Workers) who also have an important role in the Philippines economy, because usually their earnings abroad are sent home to create business, build their homes and support their families and their children to school and provide for the health expenditures.

In fact, health care – which is mostly privatized – is inaccessible to many families. There is a governmental insurance called PhilHealth that provides help to families, paying in part hospital bills. Lately, Abigael says, there has been issues regarding PhilHealth. But there are higher hopes as many political candidates for the presidential elections in May, promise an improvement in this regard.

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