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Women can still be productive and happy during 'red' days

Having your monthly period on a working day making you irritable, impatient and grumpy, keeping you from being nice to clients seeking government assistance?  The local government of Tangalan, a municipality in the second district of Aklan has a solution to this.

The solution is the town’s Ordinance No. 2022-214 entitled “An Ordinance Establishing ‘Menstruation Day Privilege’ To Female Employees Of the Municipal Government Of Tangalan, Aklan To Work-From-Home (WFH) Two Days A Month While They Have Their Periods, Providing Funds Thereof And Likewise Encouraging Other Government And Private Offices In The Municipality To Do The Same.”

This ordinance was sponsored  by Vice Mayor Gene T. Fuentes and co-sponsored by Sangguniang Bayan Member Edina T. Gelito, which seeks to provide reasonable and appropriate work arrangements for female government officials and employees to ensure efficient and effective performance of government functions and delivery of public services especially during their menstrual period days.

Asked on why of all officials in Tangalan, it took him, a male official, to craft an ordinance benefiting women? He said this is due to what he had observed in the LGU workplace on the way some female employees entertain or receive clients.

Clients going to the municipal hall are usually from far-flung, mountainous barangays of the town, or from coastal areas which take them long hours of travel to reach the office.

“Haobserbahan ko nga kon amat hay nakueangan ako sa klase it serbisyo nga ginatao it pilang mga empleyada sa munisipyo. Nagpangutana ako kon ham-an ag daya ro akon nga nadiskubre nga maeain gali andang pamatyag kon una ro andang menstruation ngani hay owa sanda sa ‘mood’ (I have observed that sometimes, I am not satisfied with the services the female employees provide to clients of the municipality. I inquired and I  discovered they don’t feel well during their menstrual period so they are not in the mood),” Vice Mayor Fuentes revealed.

Thus, the ordinance was crafted to keep the balance and make the female employees of the municipality who are of reproductive ages whether regular, casual, Job Order or Contract of Service (COS) of LGU-Tangalan happy and comfortable for two days, while still performing their respective duties and responsibilities in their homes, as directed by their department heads, according to Vice Mayor Fuentes.

The ordinance also provides perks for these women on their “red” days: they get to receive free Menstrual Kits which include but not limited to one pack napkin, one pack panty shield, and one bottle of feminine wash to be provided by the LGU’s Municipal Health Office (MHO) every month.

The ordinance, unique as it is, is the first of its kind in the province, according to the Provincial Human Resource Management Office (PHRMO), during the Sangguniang Panlalawigan committee hearing conducted for this.

On the other hand, the Civil Service Commission (CSC) – Aklan Field Office said in the same hearing that the ordinance is aligned with CSC on audit issuances which prescribes guidelines for all work from home arrangement. Too, the CSC added this local ordinance do not contravene any existing national laws.

Also, due to the benefits the ordinance will bring to women, the Aklan SP, through Sangguniang Panlalawigan Provincial Federation chair and Aklan SP member Blessie Jizmundo, plans to sponsor a related ordinance soon to be filed at the Sangguniang Panlalawigan docket.

Vice Mayor Fuentes said his ordinance has caused a stir at various municipalities too. He said several LGUs have expressed their intention to replicate same ordinance in their towns.

Meanwhile, the happiest group with the implementation of this ordinance which will be very soon, are the female employees of Tangalan town.

According to Leah Tatoy, Local Civil Registrar and at the same time the 
Population Officer-Designate of the LGU, her staff are all excited and happy to enjoy privileges brought by the ordinance. The same is true with the staff of the Human Resources Department of the LGU, headed by Concepcion Amarillo, who at one time, was designated as Tangalan Municipal Information Officer.

Amarillo said her two staff, who are of reproductive age, are very happy with the approval of the ordinance. She revealed too that since November 2022, menstruating women at Tangalan LGU have already started receiving Menstrual Kits  through the sponsorship of a Sangguniang Bayan Member.

She added that the menstrual kits to be distributed monthly next year has an approved budget already.

Tangalan, according to Amarillo, has at least 50 women of reproductive age who will be enjoying the benefits of the ordinance out of 100 female employees there.

If replicated in the entire province, more women will be very productive, in the mood and happier to serve their fellow Aklanons, even on their “red” days. (JBG/VGV/PIA6 Aklan)

About the Author

Kate Shiene Austria

Information Officer III

Information Officer III under the Creative and Production Services Division of the Philippine Information Agency. 

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