Catholic schools Seek Women’s Law Exemption

By Philip Tubeza
Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 14:01:00 09/17/2009

MANILA, Philippines – Insisting on their religious and academic freedoms, Catholic educational institutions are seeking exemption from a provision in the new Magna Carta of Women banning the dismissal of unwed mothers from employment or school.

Monsignor Gerardo Santos, national president of the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), said the CEAP would ask that a provision on such an exemption be inserted into the new law’s implementing rules and regulations.

He said the chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), Emmanuel Angeles, has said he would support the CEAP’s participation in the writing of the IRR.

It is important that we respect the religious affiliation of these institutions, the schools, or company the persons [concerned] belong to, Santos told the CEAP national convention at the Manila Hotel.

Women’s rights activists have said that under the new law, unwed mothers who are kicked out can file a civil case and sue for damages while government officials who dismiss them can be sanctioned under administrative and civil service laws.

Santos insisted on the Catholic schools’ right to have an unwed pregnant student or employee go on leave after due process, or to enforce other disciplinary action.


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