NNC bats for breastfeeding facilities in gov't agencies, LGUs
Iloilo City (25 March) -- National Nutrition Council Regional Coordinator Nona Tad-y said the council is encouraging the RDC sub-committee on Population, Health and Nutrition (PHN) to pass a resolution for the establishment of Breastfeeding rooms or corners in regional offices of government agencies and local government units.
Tad-y presented the proposal during the PHN regular meeting held March 24, with the announcement of President Arroyo's signing of Republic Act 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding promotion Act.
Tad-y said the local City/Municipal and Provincial Councils can also pass their own resolutions to reorganize or reactivate facilities or breastfeeding rooms in all local government offices, for lactating women employees.
In her presentation, Tad-y said RA 10082 mandates that lactation stations in workplaces and public places should be adequately equipped with necessary facilities for mothers to feed their infants.
The law further provides that nursing female employees should be given "reasonable compensable time during work hours to breastfeed or express their milk," as well as for health institutions to set up milk banks for safe collection and storage of breast milk.
A salient provision of the law is the provision of incentives to institutions that set up proper breastfeeding facility for mothers to breastfeed and express milk.
The law points to the Department of Health as lead convenor of an inter-agency committee that shall oversee the implementation of the law, and provide training programs for health workers on lactation management.
PHN Committee Chair POPCOM 6 Dir. Vicente Molejona said they will push through with the resolutions and would even advocate for strict implementation of penalties, which the law is imposing, ranging from P50,000 to P500,000, and business licenses of private hospitals can also be cancelled if found guilty of violating the law.
The law, signed last March 16 takes effect 15 days after publication in the Official Gazette and at least two national newspapers.
Tad-y said the breastfeeding campaign is being intensified as an income-saving strategy especially in times of El Nino. (PIA6/ESS) [top]