City’s breastfeeding in workplace program gains ground — Mayor Lobregat PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 18 November 2011 17:06

Mayor Celso Lobregat reaffirmed the city government’s support to the breastfeeding in the workplace program initiated by the International Labor Organization even as he pointed out that the city’s breastfeeding campaign has been successful and gaining ground.

The City Council approved last July an enabling ordinance that seeks to promote breastfeeding in workplaces in the city of Zamboanga.

“I said and I say it again here today that the city government through the City Health Office is continuously advocating for all mothers to breastfeed their infants. We have already had series of breastfeeding activities all-year-round. In fact, we already have established 10 public lactation stations in the city,” Lobregat said during a forum initiated yesterday by the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines Zamboanga- Basilan- Sulu- Tawi-Tawi (Zambasulta) Chapter headed by Crisanto dela Cruz at Lantaka Hotel.

According to him, the ordinance (Ord. 377) authored by Councilor Lilia Nuño and co-authored by most members of the Sangguniang Panlungsod recognizes breast milk as the best source of nutrition for babies, promotes the development of emotional bonding between the mother and the 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 also mandates all private enterprises and government agencies to establish lactation stations with the necessary equipment and facilities. “We already have 10 of this station and the ILO assured to assist us in the establishment of another public lactation station,” the mayor said, adding that a public lactation station has already been established at the Zamboanga City Medical Center in partnership with the ILO.

“In addition, our 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,” he said.

As this developed, Lobregat commended the Employers’ Confederation of the Philippines-Zambasulta Chapter for responding to and complementing the city’s ongoing breastfeeding program, particularly in the promotion of the practice of exclusive breastfeeding in workplaces in Zamboanga City.

“With your support, I am optimistic we will able to institutionalize breastfeeding in workplaces in the city, not only for the sake of lactating women but most importantly the newborn babies. Rest assured the city government through the City Health Office remains committed to this program,” he stressed.

Highlighting yesterday’s forum was the signing of a memorandum of agreement among representatives of the different private and government agencies in support of the breastfeeding in the workplace program. Among those who signed the MOA were Lobregat, Dela Cruz and Labor Regional Director Ponciano Ligutom. — Vic Larato