Last March 16, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo signed Republic Act 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009” which builds on RA 7600 (or the “Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act of 1992”). Sen. Pia Cayetano, its principal author and advocate for breastfeeding, in an article by Philstar.com said, “Indeed it takes an entire community to raise a child. What we are aiming for is an entire enlightened community, with high awareness on the advantages of breast milk, in order to raise entire generations of breast-fed, healthy children and empowered breastfeeding mothers.”
What are some of the provisions of this Act?
Private enterprises as well as government agencies, including government-owned and controlled corporations, are required to put up lactation stations.Expenses incurred by private health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions in complying with the law will now be deductible expenses (for income tax purposes) that can be up to twice the actual amount incurred.The law requires “lactation periods” for breastfeeding employees, in addition to time-off for meals, to allow them time to express their breast milk. This period should be less no less than a total of 40 minutes for every eight-hour working period.Health institutions are encouraged to put up breast milk banks to store pasteurized breast milk donated by breastfeeding mothers.Breastfeeding will now be included in the curriculum of schools (under relevant subjects).
According to an MB.com.ph article , the Department of Health will lead an inter-agency committee to oversee the implementation of the law.
Additional SP Support for Breastfeeding Mothers in the Workplace
Are you planning to breastfeed while working full time? Read up on some FAQs on handling breastfeeding concerns while working .
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For information on how to express breast milk with dignity in the workplace, read up on keeping your professionalism while expressing milk at work .
One of the biggest concerns of breastfeeding mothers who are working full time is how to handle the mechanics of pumping and storing breast milk. Read up on some of the basics of pumping and storing breast milk to make the most of your schedule.
Many breastfeeding support groups and advocates see the passing of Republic Act 10028 or the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009” as solid support for reviving breastfeeding as a cultural practice in the Philippines. In the Philippines, only 34% of mothers end up breastfeeding their babies exclusively up to the first six months of life (the recommended minimum breastfeeding period of UNICEF). This may be partially attributed to the fact that many Filipinas are also working mothers who have to return to work within two to three months of giving birth. This law, which supports breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, will most likely encourage more Filipino babies to be breastfed.
To view a copy of the entire R.A. 10028, click here . This copy is provided with permission from Jenny Ong , SP Mompreneur.