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Great news for Breastfeeding Pinays in Cebu! Mandaue traders backing breastfeeding in workplaces

July 5, 2011

The Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry has just made a commitment to offer workplace lactation programs in their workplaces in support of this year’s Nutrition Month celebration.  Eric N. Mendoza, Mandaue chamber president, recognizes this program as a low-cost, yet high-impact program for the city’s estimated 100,000 female workers.

The group made history by signing an MOA with the National Nutrition Council regional office and Mandaue city government last week.  Mr Mendoza said that they entered into the agreement because they were good for working families, as they are also good for business.

“First of all, lactation programs help new mothers integrate back into the workplace, increase employee engagement and morale and help reduce illness and sick days taken,” Mr. Mendoza said.He added that such a program would promote valuable employee retention.Health Assistant Secretary Maria Bernardita T. Flores, executive director of the nutrition council, said Central Visayas leads other regions in promoting breast-feeding with the signing of the agreement and has called on other local government units and business groups to follow.

“Our mothers have been misinformed about the benefits of milk substitutes. With Republic Act (RA) 10028, we are forging alliances with our partners in the media, with the private and business community so that together with local government and national government, we could really bring back breast-feeding as the norm,” she added.

RA 10028 is also known as the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. Under the law, private enterprises as well as government agencies, including government-owned and -controlled corporations, are required to put up lactation stations.

This is a welcome development given that the Philippines has one of the shortest maternity leaves, just 8 weeks paid leaves compared to 35 weeks in Canada, 52 weeks in the United Kingdom, and a whopping 64 weeks in Sweden.  Our Asian counterparts also fare better with 12 weeks in Singapore, 14 weeks in Japan, and 24 weeks in Vietnam.

Does a longer maternity leave mean a lengthier breastfeeding practice?  Statistics say so.

Countries that have longer maternity leaves have significantly higher exclusive breastfeeding practices.  In Sweden, 53% of women continue to breastfeed 6 months or longer.  In the Philippines, according to the National Demographic Health Survey, only 16.1% of our babies are exclusively breastfed for 4 to 5 months. 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. anol permalink
    July 28, 2011 8:54 am

    We shared this post to Nutrition Advocates PH on Facebook. We likewise mentioned this post in our article at http://prworks.wordpress.com/2011/07/27/nutrition-advocacy-by-cebu-bloggers/ Cheers!

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