May 24, 2024

BONTOC, Mountain Province – The Bontoc Municipal Capitol has been granted accreditation by the Department of Health as a Mother-Baby-Friendly Workplace – a manifestation of the local government unit’s thrust in promoting breastfeeding practices and quality maternal services.

The certificate of accreditation was received by Mayor Jerome Tudlong, Jr. Municipal Health Office Head Diga Kay Gomez, and Municipal Nutrition Action Officer Venous Faith Cofulan from Nutrition Program Coordinator Mary Diane Saong-Monte of the Provincial Health Office and Development Management Officer IV Madelyn Tudlong of the DOH-Provincial Office during the flag raising ceremony on March 11 at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol grounds.

The accreditation is valid from Dec. 11, 2023 to Dec. 11, 2025.

The LGU was issued an accreditation after the MHO and Rural Health Unit complied with the requirements of the lactation station in the workplace assessment. The lactation station is located just below the Maternal Neonatal Child and Health Nutrition Room, first floor of the Bontoc Municipal Capitol.

Based on the records of the MHO, of the 249 employees of the LGU, 153 are female. Of the total female employees, 159 of them are of reproductive age (15 to 49 years old).

Lactating mothers who are working at the Bontoc Municipal Capitol and walk-in clients who are also breastfeeding are encouraged to use of the lactation station.

The initiative is in accordance with Republic Act 10028 or the Expanded Breastfeeding Promotion Act of 2009. It encourages lactating employees to continue exclusive breastfeeding for six months and to continue breastfeeding until two years and beyond.

Health officials have always been campaigning for exclusive breastfeeding for six months explaining that breastmilk is easily digested by babies, has antibodies, and has the right amount of nutrients which are critical for infants. Breastmilk also helps mothers reduce their risk of cancer and helps in post-pregnancy weight loss. – Alpine K. Malwagay