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PIA Press Release

Gov't gives incentives to health institutions with rooming-in, breastfeeding facilities

by Gemma Tabao

Tacloban City (June 21) -- With the ultimate goal of intensifying the promotion of breastfeeding, the government is now ready to provide incentives to all government and private institutions with rooming-in and breastfeeding practices.

The concept is embodied in Republic Act No. 10028, otherwise known as the "Expanded Breastfeeding Promotions Act of 2009".

In the provision, it is stated that the expenses incurred by the institution in complying with the act, shall be deductible expenses for income tax purposes up to twice the actual amount incurred, provided that the deduction shall apply for the taxable period that the expenses were incurred, and that said establishments shall comply with the act within six months after the approval.

Further, said health facilities and institutions shall receive an additional appropriation equivalent to the savings they may derive as a result of complying with the provisions of the act. The additional appropriation shall be included in their budget for the next fiscal year.

The breastfeeding practice is already considered as a national policy adopted by the state, to create an environment where basic physical, emotional and psychological needs of mothers and infants are fulfilled. It likewise saves the country's valuable foreign exchange that maybe used for milk importation.

Aside from being the first preventive health measure that can be given to the child at birth, mother's milk contains essential nutrients completely suitable for the baby's needs, and contains growth factors that enhance the maturation of an infant's organ systems.

With the passage of the law, the state will also protect working women's conditions, taking into consideration their maternal functions, thus, enabling them to combine family obligations and work responsibilities.

The law further stipulates that health institutions adopting rooming-in and breastfeeding practices shall provide equipment, facilities and supplies for breastmilk collection, storage and utilization, of which standards shall be defined by the Department of Health. (PIA-8) [top]

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