August Is National Breastfeeding Awareness Month

August is not only “buwan ng wikang pambansa” but also National Breastfeeding awareness month.

The National Breastfeeding Awareness Month is the product of RA 10028.

Republic Act (RA) 10028 is a law known  as the “Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009”.

breastfeeding awareness month
National Breastfeeding Awareness Month | Image Credit | PCW

The Philippines passed this law as a national policy to encourage, protect and support the practice of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding has distinct advantages which benefit the infant and the mother, including the hospital and the country that adopt its practice. It is the first preventive health measure that can be given to the child at birth. It also enhances the mother-infant relationship. Furthermore, the practice of breastfeeding could save the country valuable foreign exchange that may otherwise be used for milk importation.

2 Salient Features of this law (RA 10028) are the following:

  1. The Establishment of Lactation Stations.
    – It is hereby mandated that all health and non-health facilities, establishments, or institutions shall establish lactation stations. The lactation stations shall be adequately provided with the necessary equipment and facilities, such as a lavatory for hand-washing unless there is an easily accessible lavatory nearby; refrigeration or appropriate cooling facilities for storing expressed breast milk; 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. The lactation station shall not
    be located in the toilet. 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 breast milk substitutes within the lactation stations, or in any event or circumstances which may be conducive to the same. Apart from the said minimum requirements, all health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions may provide other suitable facilities or services within the lactation station, all of which, upon due substantiation, shall be considered eligible for purposes of Section 14 of RA 10028.
  2. Lactation Periods.
    РNursing employees shall be granted break intervals in addition to the regular time off for meals 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. The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) may adjust the same: Provided, such intervals shall not be less than a total of forty (40) minutes for every eight (8) hour working period. 

Any private non-health facility, establishment, and institution which unjustifiably refuses or fails to comply with Sections 6 and 7 of this Act shall be imposed a fine of not less than Fifty thousand pesos (Php50,000.00) but not more than Two hundred thousand pesos (Php200,000.00) on the first offense.

“On the second offense, a fine of not less than Two hundred thousand pesos (Php200,000.00) but not more than Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00).

“On the third offense, a fine of not less than Five hundred thousand pesos (Php500,000.00) but not more than One million pesos (Php1,000,000.00) and the cancellation or revocation of the business permits or licenses to operate.

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