There is a measure in the House Representatives consolidating House Bills 3535, 3527 and 3396 that proposes to make noncompensable the time a mother breastfeeds her baby in the workplace during work hours. The bills were sponsored by Representatives Anna York Bondoc, Lani Mercado-Revilla, Lucy Torres-Gomez, Rufus Rodriguez, Magtanggol Gunigundo and Josephine Lacson-Noel.
The monster bill is now with the Technical Working Group.
What can you do?
Save the Babies Coalition strongly register to the House of Representatives of the Philippines their vehement objections to the majority of the provisions Sections 20, 21, 23, 25, 28, 32, 35, 37, 38, 42, 43, 46 from the present consolidated Bill espoused by Representative Rufus Rodriguez because it does not serve the interest of the Filipino people rather it propogates the commercial interest of the multinational milk companies represented by IPNAP (Infant Pediatric Nutrition Association of the Philippines) led by Nestlé. It will destroy the innate power of breastfeeding that aims to protect the Filipino’s next generations’ health and wealth.
The Save the Babies Coalition response to the detailed provisions of the recent consolidated Bill:
1.) The proposed Bill’s provision on:
Chapter IX Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements and other Covered Products Section 32. Advertising and Promotions – When Allowed. – Advertising and promotions of follow-on formula, growing- up milk supplements and other products covered by this Act intended for children over six (6) months of age shall be allowed.
This is against more than 30 years of scientific evidence that has shown that marketing and promotion of such products should not be allowed, as properly stated in the 1981 International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements and Related Products, by the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1990) and eventually upheld by the 1986 Executive Order 51 and its 2007 revised Implementing Rules and Regulations. Save the Babies Coalition provides more details on their objections in this monster bill.
Another community makes its stand against the watering down of the milk code.
To my fellow breastfeeding advocates,
I am writing in behalf of the community of Lactation Attachment Training Counseling Help (L.A.T.C.H.) families to seek support against the passage of consolidated House Bill entitled “An Act Promoting a comprehensive program on Breastfeeding practices and Regulating the Trade, Marketing and Promotions of certain foods for Infants and Children or Breastfeeding and Milk Regulation Act”.
This is a consolidation of House Bill Nos. 3525, 3527, 3396 and 3537 and has been modified and corrupted to water down the Milk Code – which goes against the essence of the original bill which was to strengthen the Milk Code. The original House Bill No. 3396 seeks to limit marketing of formula milk to children up to three years of age. The consolidated bill reduces this period and limits the marketing of formula milk to children up to 6 months only. The Department of Health advocates breastfeeding for two years and beyond.
In a study published in 2011, the World Health Organization found that Filipino mothers are greatly influenced by advertisements or their doctors such that those who have been exposed to these influences are 2-4 times more likely to feed their babies with infant formula products. Further, these mothers are 6.4 times more likely to stop breastfeeding their babies within 1 year of age.
Another World Health Organization study on the economic burden of infant formula on families with young children in the Philippines established that the cost of infant formula (purchase and out of pocket medical expenditure) exceed $400 million in 2003. This excludes costs from absenteeism and the risk of childhood death and illness, which caused an unnecessary burden on Filipino families.
Clearly, the consolidated House Bill will only exacerbate the problems faced by Filipino families. L.A.T.C.H. is strongly against the passage of this consolidated bill entitled “Breastfeeding and Milk Regulation Act” and we hope that our legislators will vote against the passage of the same.
Buding Aquino Dee
President and Co-Founder L.A.T.C.H. Inc.
Read more on the positon paper of the Save the Babies Coalition:
Here is the Position paper of medial professional organizations on the consolidated house bill on breastfeeding
Photo via Chronicles of a nursing mom and L.A.T.C.H