‘Perfect gift for HREP women employees on Women’s Month’
House Deputy Speaker and Taguig City representative Pia S. Cayetano on Monday led the inauguration of the first breastfeeding room for nursing female employees of the House of Representatives (HREP) in Quezon City.
The breastfeeding room resulted from the initiative of Cayetano, who had written the House leadership requesting the establishment of the facility as mandated by law. A similar request was also made to the House leaders in a separate letter sent by a group of breastfeeding mothers employed at the House.
It was Cayetano, then a senator, who pushed for the passage of Republic Act 10028, or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act, which mandated paid lactation breaks for nursing mothers during work hours, and the establishment of lactation rooms in public places and facilities, as well as government and private offices.
The landmark law was signed in 2009 by then President and current House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
“Thank you to everyone who made this happen. To [Committee on Women and Gender Equality chair, Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy], to the Speaker and Secretary General… I hope we can continue working together to support women in the workforce,” Cayetano said.
“If there are three mothers this month that will have the pleasure of using this lactation room, that would translate to three babies being breastfed longer and protected better,” she added.
“What could be a better gift for nursing employees of the House of Representatives on Women’s Month than a breastfeeding room they could access in their own workplace? This facility is also open to non-employees, or breastfeeding mothers who happen to be visiting Congress,” she continued.
“I hope we can see the establishment of more lactation rooms in the next months to come. The objective is to make it convenient for a mother to breastfeed. We want breastfeeding to be thefirst choice and, if possible, the only choice for mothers to ensure the health of our children,” Cayetano said.
The former senator was joined at the inauguration by Bagong Henerasyon Party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy, House Acting Secretary General Dante Roberto Maling, HREP officials and pregnant and nursing employees of the House.
This was not the first time the Taguig representative personally worked for the proper implementation of RA 10028 in an institution tasked to craft and pass laws. During her term as Senator, Cayetano also pushed for the opening of a breastfeeding room at the Philippine Senate headquarters in Pasay City. #