BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance directing the establishment of lactation or breastfeeding stations in workplaces of the local government and appropriating funds for the said purpose.
The ordinance authored by all members of the local legislative body stated breastfeeding, as a practice and culture of the city, will continue to be observed and promoted and breast milk as now being globally promoted confirms that it is the best food in the development of the infant and immediately, lactation or breastfeeding stations shall, therefore, be established in all work places of employees and officials of the city which may also be allowed for use by all clients, visitors or people being served in the work places.
The ordinance mandated the City Health Services Office (CHSO), in coordination with the City Buildings and Architecture Office, and the City General Services Office, to establish the lactation or breastfeeding stations in accordance with the provisions or requirements of Republic Act 10028.
Pending the establishment of the stations, the CHSO shall identify temporary areas in all work places of employees and officials of the city for use as lactation or breastfeeding stations, taking into consideration the provisions and requirements for their establishment.
Likewise, the CHSO is further tasked to formulate and recommend measures to ensure full compliance with the mandates of the expanded breastfeeding promotion law, including entitlement to the incentives provided by it.
The ordinance allocated the amount of P1 million from any available source as initial funding for the implementation of the legislative measure and that additional funds needed for the purpose shall be included in the annual budget of the CHSO.
The State recognizes the distinct advantage of breastfeeding that includes benefits in the development of the child and in enhancing mother and child relationship that aside from adopting rooming-in as a national policy to encourage, protect and support the practice of breastfeeding, it is committed to protect working women by providing safe and healthful working conditions, taking into account their maternal functions in such facilities and opportunities that will enhance their welfare and enable them to realize their full potential in the service of the nation.
To this end, RA 10028 entitled An Act Expanding the Promotion of Breastfeeding, Amending for the Purpose RA 7600, otherwise known as An Act Providing Incentives to all Government and Private Health Institutions with Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Practices and for other Purposes, was enacted to advance the aggressive promotion of breastfeeding in the work places both in the government and private sectors.
As part of the minimum requirements of lactation stations, all health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions may provide other suitable facilities or services within the lactation station, all of which, upon due substantiation, shall be considered eligible for purposes of the law.
By Dexter A. See