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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Gift to women this women's month!

I've read today from the Philippine Star that GMA signed last March 16 Republic Act 10028 also known as the "Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. Authored principally by Senator Pia Cayetano, this law provides tax incentives to all government agencies and private establishments that provide lactation stations for working motheres. This is indeed 14th Congress' gift to all Filipino mothers on women's month.

The main points of this law is that it( i have taken the liberty of lifting the entire content of the Philippine Star article and pasted it on here) :

  • all private and government institutions are required to put up lactation stations. These lactation stations shall be adequately provided with the necessary equipments such as lavatory for handwashing, refrigeration or appropriate cooling facilities for storing milk, electrical outlets for breast pumps, small table, comfortable chair and other items in accordance with the standards defined by the DOH

  • The expenses incurred by a private health and non-health facility, establishment or institution in complying with the new law shall be deductible expenses for income tax purposes up to twice the actual amount incurred. These facilities, establishments or institutions shall secure first a “Working Mother- Baby-Friendly Certificate” from the DOH to be filed with the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) before they can avail of the tax incentive.

  • Government agencies complying with the new law shall receive an additional appropriation or budget equivalent to the savings they may derive as a result of complying with the law. The additional appropriation shall be included in their budget for the next fiscal year.

    The same law, however, also provides for “exemptions” from compliance “where the establishment of lactation stations is not feasible or necessary due to peculiar circumstances of the workplace or public place taking into consideration, among others, the number of women employees, physical size of the establishment and the average number of women who visit.”

  • Private enterprises may apply to the Secretary of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for exemption from this law while government agencies can apply to the chairman of the Civil Service Commission. The exemption is valid for a period of two years.

    “All health and non-health facilities, establishments or institutions which are exempted in complying with this law but nevertheless opt to comply are entitled to the benefits under the law provided they give their employees the privileges of using the same.”

  • RA 10028 also mandates “lactation periods” for nursing employees who are granted break intervals in addition to the regular time-off for meals to “express milk” or the act of extracting human milk from the breast by hand or by pump. Provided such period shall not be less than a total of 40 minutes for every eight-hour working period.

    Health institutions are likewise encouraged to set up milk banks for storage of breast milk donated by mothers and which have undergone pasteurization. The stored breast milk will be given to children in the neo-natal intensive care unit whose own mothers are seriously ill.

    The new law encourages the promotion of breastfeeding by integrating in curriculum in relevant subjects in schools under the Department of Education, Commission on Higher Education and the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

    To further promote the importance and raise awareness of breastfeeding, the new law likewise sets every August of each year as Breastfeeding Awareness Month throughout the Philippines.

This is one good piece of legislation i would like to see implemented immediately and really adhered to by the business community.

Thanks to for the photo . I would have used my own but i cant seem to find it anymore.

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