ILO cites Zambo as champion in achieving MDG PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 08 August 2011 15:55

Representatives from the International Labor Relations Organization (ILO) have recognized the Zamboanga City local government as a champion in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) specifically on protecting child infancy feeding practices and reducing extreme poverty and hunger.

Ana Valencia, head of the ILO Technical Working Group on the MDG particularly Expanded Breast Feeding Program said her group is surprised to know that Zamboanga City has been right on track in the implementation of MDG programs particularly in promoting breastfeeding in the workplace program through the passage of an ordinance.

“Our visit to Zamboanga City has been very fruitful, in fact we are surprised that the city government has passed a local ordinance promoting breast feeding in the workplace and this came about even before we (ILO) reached out to the LGU”, Valencia said in an interview with City Hall reporters Friday morning.

She said this development only points out the fact that the city government of Zamboanga has the initiative, walks an extra mile and takes seriously the issues under the MDG specifically eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, malnutrition and other areas.

On the other hand, Jonas Madagia, ILO National Coordinator of the Joint MDG Project said with the city government’s all out support to the MDG program, the support and cooperation of other agencies and sectors is also assured.

“We are very happy that Zamboanga City is actually a champion in achieving the MDG”, Madagia said.
The ILO , through the Sub-TWG  is making the rounds of the different local government units in the country to seek support and assistance in the implementation of the MDG programs.

During the meeting with the ILO representatives at the City Hall conference room Friday morning, Mayor Lobregat emphasized that the City Health Office is continuously advocating for all mothers to breastfeed their infants. The city has had series of breastfeeding activities all year round coupled with the establishment of 10 public lactation stations in the city, even long before the ILO came to our city.

The City Council on July 27, 2011 approved an enabling ordinance on the promotion of breastfeeding in workplaces, which provides penalty for violation.

Authored by Councilor Lilia Nuno and co-authored by most members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod, the ordinance recognizes breastmilk as the best source of nutrition for babies, promotes the development of emotional bonding between the mother and child, bestows upon the newborn infant protection against infection, provides the mother natural contraception after delivery and protects the mother from closely spaced pregnancy.

The Ordinance (No. 377) also mandates all private enterprises and government agencies to establish lactation station with the necessary equipment and facilities.

In addition, the mayor said, the city’s breastfeeding program continues including all other basic public health services in the barangays, most of which have health centers and wellness centers constructed by the city government under our administration.

Also present during the meeting with the ILO representatives were Councilors Lilia Nuno, Myra Abubakar and Luis Biel III, City Health Officer Rodel Agbulos and health officials. — Sheila Covarrubias