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PH Gov't Office Recognized as Breastfeeding-Friendly WorkplaceAt the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the principle of 'banking' extends to the welfare of its employees and their families.by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Danielle Espiritu, 31, gave birth to her youngest child four months ago. After her 60-day maternity leave ended, she went back to work as a senior analytics investment officer at Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) where she works weekdays from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Though she tandem breastfeeds her two kids Enzo, now 3 years old, and Elijah, her youngest, she doesn't worry about leaving them at home — she knows that even while she's at work, she can fulfill her duties to give them the best nutrition possible, thanks largely to a parent-friendly environment at work.
In fact, Danielle is an active member of Breastfeeding Peer Support Mothers, a group composed of moms employed at the BSP, which provides help and information on breastfeeding not only within the company, but also to a larger community outside of work whenever necessary. When typhoons Ondoy, Pablo, Sendong, Yolanda and the Marawi Crisis struck, the group went out of their way to lend a hand and protect the cause of breastfeeding.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
"[The group] has shown commitment in the protection of breastfeeding through their active participation in breast milk donation drives during emergencies," says BSP, which earned the Breastfeeding Advocate award from the Philippine Pediatric Society last August. The group has likewise been recognized by the UP-PGH Human Milk Bank Unit for its advocacy.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
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And just recently, the BSP received certification as a Mother-Baby Friendly Workplace from the Department of Health. Aside from having lactation stations (one for each of its three buildings) as required by Philippine law under RA 10028 (Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009), BSP also has a breastfeeding policy that is strictly enforced.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
This includes a 90-minute lactation break on top of regular breaks for every 8-hour working period, more than the 40-minute period that the law requires.
Instead of simply adhering to the law, the BSP also goes over and beyond to support moms and encourage extended breastfeeding by conducting activities during Breastfeeding Month (August), which includes lactation consultations, milk-letting, and relevant talks, among others.
As a mother-baby friendly workplace, the BSP champions its employees' welfare and its thrust for work-life balance.ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
"In promoting, protecting, and supporting breastfeeding, we are supporting 'a strong economy,' since breastfeeding has an impact on the reduction of food and health costs that benefits our families and our country as a whole," says the BSP.
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Former Monetary Board Member Ignacio R. Bunye, a staunch supporter of breastfeeding, stated: “The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas does not only promote banking services in the technical sense; it also encourages ‘milk banking’. Of course, the deposits do not earn any interest, but certainly, they yield high returns in terms of the improved health and general well-being of the mothers, their babies as well as improved employee morale.”
In a deeper sense, the distinction from the Department of Health as a mother-baby-friendly workplace means that the BSP advocates and celebrates motherhood, women empowerment, and providing the “gold standard” for the nourishment of a young infant: breast milk.