Did you know that the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 10028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 has been signed last 22 August 2011? You can download a copy here. The IRR was published on 28 August 2011 and will be effective on 12 September 2011. This means that establishments are now required to have lactation stations and workplaces must set up their lactation programs!
After the successful launch of the Breastfeeding Welcome Here Program, UNICEF, WHO, DOLE, DOH and ILO has another exciting project in the works! Remember my series of posts on setting up a workplace lactation program? Well, the consortium has made things even more easier with their S.T.E.P. Up for Breastfeeding Program!
Under this program, the group promotes the slogan “Breastfeeding is good for business”. The program is similar to the US’ Business Case for Breastfeeding and encourages companies to set-up their own workplace lactation program.
Isis has 2 articles on Philippine companies with lactation rooms which you can read here and here. However, none have fully complied with the STEP Up requirements. Under this program, STEP is actually an acronym referring to S – upport, T – ime, E – ducation and P – lace. Most of the companies have the place and time but have no support or education.
Support refers to the existence of a lactation program policy and promotes a positive atmosphere of support for breastfeeding employees. Time for milk expression refers to the permitted compensable milk expression times. Place to express milk is a private room that is not a toilet stall or restroom where the employees can express their milk. Finally, education refers to prenatal and postpartum breastfeeding classes/materials available for the employees and their partners.
The group has prepared a complete kit, available for download HERE which includes an explanation of the Workplace Lactation Program Policy, Timeline for Implementation, Participant’s Application Form and Evaluation Sheet and a Monthly Progress Monitoring Sheet. They aim to make the institution of the program as easy as possible for the employer. Further, the kit allows the company to be able to measure success of the program and provide benchmarks for the establishment of a business case for breastfeeding in the Philippines!
The STEP UP for Breastfeeding Program will be launched in the CEOs for Breastfeeding event scheduled sometime in mid-September.
My own company still needs some work to completely meet the requirements of STEP UP but I am proud and happy that we have taken the first STEP ;D Here’s hoping that more and more Philippine companies will implement their own workplace lactation program!