Clark firms open to more breastfeeding stations

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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

MANILA -- The Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga is now being seen as among the model area in terms of establishing breastfeeding stations in workplaces.

The Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) reported several companies in the special economic zone have already adopted the requirements of the "Expanded Breast-Feeding Act of 2009," which is to establish breastfeeding stations in workplaces.

Among them are Aderans Philippines, Inc., Fontana Leisure Park, Sutherland Global Services, Texas Instruments Philippines, Inc., Clark International Airport Corporation, United Parcel Services, Landside, United Parcel Service Landside, and Phoenix Semiconductor Philippine Corporation.

This was manifested at the recent Orientation on Workplace Lactation Station organized by the Dole Regional Office 3 in Central Luzon.

Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said the buck does not stop with Central Luzon only as they are strongly encouraging more companies around the country to also establish breastfeeding stations.

"Breast-feeding is not detrimental to productivity requirements of working mothers; rather, it is the opposite. Breast-feeding boosts their morale," said Baldoz.

She noted how it has been found that working mothers who have access to lactation facilities tend to be more productive as they feel less guilty about their responsibility to provide one of the essential needs of their babies.

In addition, Baldoz noted how breast-fed babies are likely to be more active and healthy, or immune from sickness, thus lessening chances of mothers absenting themselves from work on account of their children's sickness.

Under Republic Act 10028, breastfeeding stations in workplaces must have adequate equipment and facilities, like lavatory; refrigeration or cooling station for storing breast milk; electrical outlets for breast pump; a table; and comfortable seats.

Aside from setting up of lactation stations, the Labor department also noted on the need to allow nursing mother-employees time to breastfeed, aside from the regular time-off for meals such as lunch and snacks. (HDT/Sunnex)

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