SOURCE: Press and Public Affairs Bureau
The right to informed choice is fundamental for every mother, especially if it involves decisions regarding her and her infant child. This is the position taken by Rep. Jaye Lacson-Noel (Lone District, Malabon City) with regard to a mother’s right to breastfeed.
Consistent with her belief that mothers must be properly educated about the benefits of breastfeeding and the range of options available to them, Rep. Lacson-Noel supports the moves to improve on the existing Milk Code or Executive Order 51.
The solon filed House Bill 3527 entitled "An Act Providing for the Promotion of Breastfeeding Practices and Instituting Measures Therefor and for Other Purposes" to emphasize the importance of informed choice vis-à-vis breastfeeding.
The bill primarily seeks to promote, support, and protect breastfeeding. It encourages women to practice exclusive breastfeeding for infants from 0-6 months, consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) standards. According to Rep. Lacson-Noel, "it also recognizes the importance of proper education and awareness among pregnant women and mothers of infants for them to be empowered and make the correct decisions regarding infant feeding practices".
The move to revise the Milk Code is also in line with Rep Lacson-Noel's personal experience in her district in Malabon City where floods that come during the rainy season constantly plague her constituents. She noticed that whenever she was approached by mothers in evacuation centers, one common complaint was the lack of available food for infants and young children. To address this, HB 3527 includes a provision to relax the ban on milk donations during disasters. During these times, the legislator believes that the health and nutrition of infants and their mothers should be paramount.