Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz yesterday lauded the Department’s Central Office and 14 of its 17 regional offices practicing Section 11 of the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 and DOLE Administrative Order No. 385 Series of 2012 which requires all DOLE offices to set up a lactation station in the workplace.
“I commend the officials and staff of the DOLE Central Office and the 14 regional offices for setting themselves as examples to DOLE offices and ensuring that their mother-employees are provided with safe and healthy working conditions on account of their maternal duties,” said Baldoz.
Baldoz, citing a report of Director Liwayway Ilo of the HRDS, said that of the 14 regional offices which already have lactation stations, seven have complete facilities and supplies, while the other seven are still putting together their supplies and facilities.
The DOLE regional offices which already have complete supplies are Regions 3, 5, 9, 11, 12, and Caraga. Those office which still have incomplete facilities and supplies are Cordillera Administrative Region, 1, 4-A, 4-B, 6, 7, 8, and 10.
The DOLE Regional Office No. 2 has not yet set-up its lactation station because it is set to transfer to a new office. The DOLE National Capital Region and its field office will set-up their lactation station this July.
Rule 1960, Occupational Health Services, of the Occupational Safety and Health Standards, as amended, provides that “every employer shall establish in his place of employment occupational health services in accordance with established regulation and guidelines.”
The said rule apply to all establishments, whether for profit or not, including the government. On the other hand, Republic Act. No. 10028, or “An Act Expanding the Promotion of Breastfeeding, Amending for the Purpose R.A. No. 7600, Otherwise Known as “An Act Providing Incentives to all Government and Private Health Institutions with Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Practices and for Other Purposes”, mandates the establishment of lactation stations in all health and non-health facilities, establishments, or institutions with adequate equipment and facilities, such as lavatory for hand-washing; refrigeration or appropriate cooling facilities for storing breastmilk; electrical outlets for breast pumps; small table; comfortable seats; and other appropriate items.
Earlier, the DOLE’s Human Resource and Development Service (HRDS) developed a tool which will monitor lactation stations at the Department. An advisory was also issued on 1 July 2015 defining the operation, including the rules and regulations, of the lactation station at the DOLE Central Office.