BAGUIO CITY – The City Council approved on first reading a proposed ordinance requiring all government offices and business establishments with acapitalization of five hundred thousand pesos or higher to provide breastfeeding corners for lactating mothers.
The ordinance authored by Councilor Lilia A. Fariñas stated that it is mandated by the local government that all government offices and business establishments with acapitalization of more than P500,000 to provide a breastfeeding corner.
However, the ordinance does not discourage other establishments not specifically mentioned or covered to adopt the purpose of the measure.
Under the proposed ordinance, the requirements for the put up of the breastfeeding corners in government agencies and business establishments include a couch enough to accommodate both mother and baby, and comfortable enough so as not to allow any discomfort or danger to any of its occupants; privacy curtain discrete enough to ensure the mother’s privacy; sufficient lighting to illuminate mother and child interaction and other activities that may accompany motherhood, and other furnitures such as a small table, recreational materials such as books or magazines, or infant provisions such as tissue, diapers among others.
However, the ordinance does not limit the creativity of the establishment as to how the management intends to beautify their respective breastfeeding corners as long as the basic furniture and features are present.
Earlier, the Cordillera office of the National Nutrition Council (NNC-CAR) revealed most government offices and local government units were found have not established lactating stations for breastfeeding employees and clients in their respective offices.
Rita Papey, NNC-CAR Regional Nutrition Program Coordinator, underscored the importance of lactating stations in government offices and business establishments for the convenience and privacy of breastfeeding mothers that prompts the need for support in terms of the passage of legislative measures at the local level to ensure its appropriate observance.
Fariñas pointed out it does not need a lot of resources to provide for a breastfeeding corner and that of a comfortable couch and a privacy curtain to ensure the mother’s privacy will do for the said offices and business establishments.
Pursuant to Executive Order No. 51 which is popularly known as the Milk Code of the Philippines, it clearly provides that every mother has a right to breastfeed and every child has a right to be breastfed.
She added no less than the Supreme Court (SC) acknowledged that the best nourishment for an infant is mother’s milk and there is nothing greater for a mother than to nurture her beloved child straight from her bosom.
Further, the ideal is of course, for each and every Filipino child to enjoy the unequaled benefits ofbreast milk.
By Dexter A. See