PROCLAMATION NO. 1113
DECLARING AUGUST 1 TO 7 OF EVERY YEAR AS WORLD BREASTFEEDING WEEK
WHEREAS, the World Breastfeeding Week from August 1 to 7 is being celebrated every year in 120 countries consistent with the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding, the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, the International Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Related Products and subsequent resolutions of the World Health Assembly, to which the Philippines is a signatory;
WHEREAS, the “Global Strategy on Infant and Young Child Feeding” jointly developed by the World Health Organization and the UNICEF pursues to revitalize world attention to the impact of feeding practices on the nutritional status, growth and development and thus the very survival of infants and young children;
WHEREAS, the Republic of the Philippines has two laws, Executive Order No. 51, s. 1986, known as the National Code on the Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Related Products and Republic Act No. 7600, known as the Rooming-In and Breastfeeding Act of 1992, to protect breastfeeding in accordance with its international commitments;
WHEREAS, latest scientific evidence have shown that breastfeeding provides protection against major illnesses in infants and children such as respiratory infections, diarrhea and malnutrition and reduces risk of degenerative diseases well into adulthood; and ensures maternal health by protecting against hemorrhages, uterine prolapse, anemia, certain cancers, osteoporosis, diabetes and other illnesses as well as by facilitating the recovery of mothers from the rigors of pregnancy and birthing, and by helping prevent closely-spaced pregnancies;
WHEREAS, breastfeeding is the most far-reaching and least costly Poverty Alleviation Strategy of developing countries, especially in the Philippines where the breastfeeding culture is being diminished beyond all reason. It addresses the issue of national health aside from the issues of food security, economy, ecology, empowerment of women, bonding between mother and child, love and faith;
WHEREAS, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA), which initiated the World. Breastfeeding Week with the support of WHO and UNICEF, has urged that “no funding, donation or sponsorship from industries promoting breastmilk substitutes and related products” shall be accepted for the celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, in accordance with its international standard of ethics;
WHEREAS, the Department of Health is mandated to promote, protect and defend the health of infants and children through provision of sound policies and programs for breastfeeding and young child feeding with the end goal of reducing infant and under five mortality and morbidity.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GLORIA MACAPAGAL-ARROYO, President of the Republic of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by law, do hereby declare the week of August 1 to 7 of every year as World Breastfeeding Week, in accordance with international practice, and in consonance with the international standard of ethics, to be celebrated nationwide, directs the following:
1. With the Department of Health as lead, all government agencies and in particular the Department of Education, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Local Government Units, the Philippine Information Agency and the Council for the Welfare of the Children, are hereby enjoined to participate and mobilize their networks to sustain a high level of awareness, support and protection of breastfeeding;
2. All non-government organizations, professional and civic organizations, the religious sector, private sector to work together and promote this endeavor;
3. All international agencies and organizations, within their respective mandate and programs give high priority and support to this undertaking.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the seal of the Republic of the Philippines to be affixed.
DONE in the City of Manila, this 1st day of August, in the year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Six.