MANILA, Philippines – There’s nothing wrong with breastfeeding in the workplace. In fact, it boosts morale, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) said.
The DOLE has been promoting the creation of lactation stations in offices and private sector establishments all over the country as part of its family welfare program.
“Breast-feeding is not detrimental to productivity requirements of working mothers; rather, it is the opposite. Breast-feeding boosts morale,” Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz said in a statement.
Baldoz said studies showed that breast-feeding facilities helped women become more productive, feeling less guilty for working because they are able to produce the needs of their babies.
The government has consistently promoted breast-feeding, which has been proven to keep children healthy and immune from sickness.
DOLE said because breast-fed babies were not prone to sickness, there would be fewer instances of parents absenting from work.
Baldoz said they would “uphold and implement more seriously” Republic Act no. 10028 or the Expanded Breast-Feeding Act of 2009.
Under the law, establishments are mandated to set-up lactation stations with necessary facilities that allow hand-washing and storage of breastmilk, unless such are located nearby. It should have a small table and comfortable seats, among others.
DOLE reminded that nursing mothers should also be granted break intervals to breast-feed.
Sanctions under this law include a fine of P50,000 to P1 million, depending on the number of offenses. A third offense will also result in the cancellation or revocation of the business permit or license to operate of the establishment.
Baldoz said their family welfare program was a “viable investment that pays off in terms of increased productivity, work-life balance, and cordial labor-management relations.”