By Zaldy De Layola
MANILA – House Speaker Ferdinand Martin Romualdez on Sunday joined the nation in paying tribute to Filipino mothers whom he described as very special persons who have sacrificed a lot.
“I join the whole world in celebrating the life of that very, very special person who has sacrificed a lot to see us all succeed, put our needs first before their own, and seek our highest good no matter the costs for them,” the House leader said in his message.
He said his mom, Juliette made him and his siblings and her grandchildren the center of her universe.
“I am speaking about our mothers – mama, mom, inay, ina – who we dearly love for giving us the best of their love and lives. My own mother, Mama Juliette has made us her children and her apos (grandchildren) the center of her universe,” he continued.
The Speaker also paid tribute to his wife, Tingog Partylist Rep. Yedda Marie Romualdez, a devoted mother to their four children.
“To all mothers of the world, one day is not enough to recognize your contributions to nation-building and making our world a better place. We appreciate your loving and gracious efforts to bring out the best in your children and lift them up to the greatest heights,” Speaker Romualdez remarked.
“We thank you for everything! Today and every day is Mother’s Day! Happy Mother’s Day sa inyong lahat (to all of you),” greeted Romualdez.
Davao del Norte 1st District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez also paid tribute to all mothers who he described as “the backbone of every household” and who “selflessly provide for their families, instill values, and serve as role models for their children.”
“We owe them our gratitude for their unwavering love and dedication,” Alvarez said.
During his term as Speaker, Alvarez championed the passage of the bills that seek to advance the welfare of women and their families, including the Expanded Maternity Leave law.
This law grants new mothers 105 days of paid maternity leave, up by 55 from the previous 60 days, to provide them ample time to recover from childbirth and bond with their babies.
The law also allows fathers to take a 7-day paid paternity leave, recognizing their critical role in supporting their partners and families.
“Ang batas na ito ay tagumpay para sa bawat ina, dahil nabigyan natin sila ng mas mahabang oras para magpahinga, magpalakas, at makapiling ang kanilang bagong silang na anak ng hindi nag-aalala kung mawawalan ba sila ng trabaho o pagkukuhaan ng pera (This law is a victory for every mother, because they are given more time to rest, reenvigorate, and be with her newly born child without worrying about losing her job or where to get money),” Alvarez noted.
According to the Department of Labor and Employment, more than 200,000 women have benefited from the law since its implementation in 2019. (PNA).