Really happy to note that the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009 has already been issued. This is important for nursing moms like me who pump in the office as now all establishments, including public places, are required to establish lactation rooms. Rule III, Section 10 gives the minimum requirements for these lactation stations, as follows:
- It should be accessible to the breastfeeding women;
- It should be adequately provided with the necessary equipment and facilities and other items, the standards of which shall be defined by the Department of Health;
- It should be clean, well ventilated, comfortable and free from contaminants and hazardous substances;
- It shall ensure privacy for the women to express their milk and/or in appropriate cases, breastfeed their child; and
- It shall NOT be located in a toilet.
The last bullet point is italicized because the most common question I’ve been getting from well-meaning officemates is why I don’t pump in the bathroom. Well, because it’s a bathroom.
Further, nursing moms are entitled to break intervals in addition to the regular time-off for meals to breastfeed or express milk. These breaks are counted as compensable time and should not be less than 40 minutes for every 8 hour working period. The employee and employers may agree as to how often and how long each break interval shall be.
You may get a copy of the IRR here. I suggest you print a copy of the IRR and submit it to your HR so they can start setting up lactation rooms!
According to Fabnaima, the IRR will be effective on 12 September 2011. Yeay! Pretty soon, no more pumping in the office bodega for me! (Unless of course, they turn the office bodega into the lactation room.)