22 October 2018—Students from the University of the Philippines-Diliman trooped to the College of Home Economics Gusali 2A-B to discuss about breastfeeding and its laws to uphold the mothers’ right to breastfeed their babies.
The forum titled UPLift: Rights ni Mommy, Rights ni Baby aimed to reach out to students from different colleges to help raise the consciousness of the participants to safeguard the laws that protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in the Philippines.
“Exclusive breastfeeding and the components of breastmilk make an unparalleled source of nutrition for infants and young children,” shared World Vision Health and Nutrition Technical Programme Manager Carleneth San Valentin. “We should make every effort to know and follow the laws promoting and protecting breastfeeding for all our mothers.”
Laws that uphold breastfeeding
Atty. Mary Grace Anga-Angan, Legal Officer of the Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines project, cited the laws including Executive Order 51 (the Philippine Milk Code of 1986), Republic Act 7600 (Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992), and Republic Act 10028 (Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009).
Atty. Anga-Angan reminded the students that they have the capacity to ensure that these laws will be properly implemented and that it is also their duty to comply with these legislations.
In reaction to the forum, one of the students expressed that he was never aware that such laws exist but was relieved knowing that the Department of Health (DOH) and World Vision have already developed an innovative platform to make it easier for the public to monitor violations of the Milk Code. Another student shared that she feels fortunate that her mom breastfed her for two years and that she hopes more mothers would do the same.
The forum is part of the Mother-Baby Friendly Philippines School Caravan which also hopes to engage other campuses in Manila, including the University of Santo Tomas (UST) and University of the East (UE) this coming November.