The Department of Health (DOH) on Friday partnered with non-governmental organization (NGO), World Vision, to monitor and report violations of the country’s breastfeeding laws through text and mobile applications.
Health Secretary Paulyn Ubial said the partnership involves the creation of mobile applications, a text messaging service and a website to enable ordinary Filipinos to report non-compliance with two laws that promote breastfeeding among mothers, especially in the workplace, in pilot areas in the country.
“The signing of an agreement with World Vision is to establish an online reporting system for violations of Executive Order 51, which is the Milk Code of 1986, and Republic Act No. 10028 [Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009],” Ubial said in an interview.
The health chief said the platform could ensure companies support breastfeeding working moms, who need a rest period and a private room in the workplace so they could extract breastmilk.
“There are many violations of the Milk Code. Ang problema natin is, before nahihirapan kami kasi it was only the DOH and FDA [Food and Drug Administration] that do it. Ngayon, we have partners. Kaya yung agreement signing with World Vision will create the platform, pero yung partners natin, like the NGOs Arugaan, Breastfeeding Pinays and even the LGUs [local government units], can report [The problem is that in the past, we encountered difficulty because it was just the DOH and the FDA that were pushing for it. But now, we have partners. The agreement we signed with World Vision will create the platform but our partners, such as the NGOs Arugaan, Breastfeeding Pinays and even the LGUs, could do the reporting of violations],” she said.
World Vision national director Rommel Fuerte said they aim to use crowd-based monitoring of compliance with the two laws.
Fuerte said violations may also be reported to 29290-6237 (MBFP), indicating the name of the violator, where and when the violation was committed, and the nature of the violation.
“We’re really praying that this would become successful in the pilot so that we can replicate it in other cities and municipalities later on,” he added.
Android and iOS users may download the mobile application, MBF PH, to report violations of the Milk Code and RA 10028, or to know more about the benefits of breastfeeding to both mother and baby.
Netizens may also log on to www.mother-babyfriendlyphilippines.org to submit reports of violations of the laws on breastfeeding.
Ubial, who signed the agreement with Fuerte, welcomed the partnership, saying it would help the DOH monitor compliance with the Milk Code and RA 10028 at the grassroots level.
The project will initially be launched in Quezon City, Malabon City and Manila through their LGUs and local health officials.