29 Sep IYCF Task Force Urges CDO Establishments to Promote Breastfeeding, establish Lactation Station
To promote breastfeeding, establishments are required to have lactation stations. Breastfeeding stations in establishments will be monitored by the Northern Mindanao Infant and Young Child Feeding Regional Task Force (IYCF TF) as mandated by law.
The Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 or the Section 11 of Republic Act 10028 mandates all health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions shall establish breastfeeding rooms.
The lactation stations shall be adequately provided with the necessary equipment and facilities, such as lavatory for hand-washing, unless there is an easily-accessible lavatory nearby; refrigeration or appropriate cooling facilities for storing expressed breastmilk; electrical outlets for breast pumps; a small table; comfortable seats; and other items, the standards of which shall be defined by the Department of Health.
In Cagayan de Oro City, there are only four establishments who have lactation stations namely Concentrix, SM, Ororama, and Centrio Ayala Mall, according to Telesfora Madelo of Department of Health (DOH) region 10 as they monitored 10 establishments on August 8, 2016.
This survey must be in coordination with its counterpart local government unit for the penalties. There will be another visitation to establishments who have not yet obeyed and submit a written statement address to its manager or Human Resource officer.
A workplace breastfeeding policy in every company should be established, the task force indicated.
Nursing/Breastfeeding employees shall granted break intervals in addition to the regular lunch break to breastfeed or express milk. These intervals, which shall include the time it takes an employee to get to and from the workplace lactation station, shall be counted as compensable hours worked. Companies should also orient all employees on breastfeeding and RA 10028 yearly as part their Human Resource Development activities.
Companies should support and foster mothers to breastfeed for six months and to sustain breastfeeding for two years or beyond, further the introduction of proper and sufficient complementary foods after six months.
In addition, all health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions shall take strict measures to prevent any direct or indirect form of promotion, marketing, and/or sales of infant formula and/or breastmilk substitutes within the lactation stations, or in any event or circumstances which may be conducive to the same.
Companies who seeks exception in establishing lactation station can read and file for an exemption under Annex A of Department Order 143 s. 2015, of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) on the “Guidelines Governing Exemption of Establishments from Setting Up Workplace Lactation Stations.”
The Civil Service Commission (CSC) are monitoring lactation stations in government offices.
News Source: Philippine Information Agency