Manila, Philippines – In light of the current legislative process in Congress to update the Milk Code or Executive Order 51, the Infant and Pediatric Nutrition Association of the Philippines (IPNAP) welcomes the initiative of legislators to formulate a relevant and comprehensive Milk Code substitute bill.
According to IPNAP Executive Director Alex Castro, “the association appreciates being invited as one of the various resource organizations in the open deliberations that also included government agencies such as the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Philippine Medical Association, various NGOs and many others.
Since the Milk Code’s enactment in 1986, it has been the cornerstone in the promotion of breastfeeding. In this Congress, several bills have been filed to further address the issue of optimal infant nutrition.
Castro hopes that the active participation of all key stakeholders – WHO, UNICEF, DOH, Food and Drug administration, DTI, DSWD, Food and Nutrition Research Institute; the women’s groups Working with Working Mothers, Arugaan and Women in Nation Building – in the recent public consultative hearings will help ensure the success of this legislative initiative.
“The association takes heed of the fact that this is a women’s issue. We respect the discussions that took place in public about ideals and realities that affect Filipina women and mothers. IPNAP wishes to reiterate its belief in the superiority of breastfeeding and supports complementary feeding starting from 6 months, with continued breastfeeding as recommended by WHO and UNICEF”, Castro explains.
IPNAP’s member companies assured that they will continue to strictly comply with relevant national laws, rules and regulations on the marketing of breast milk substitutes.
Castro concluded that IPNAP is desirous of contributing to the improvement of the nutritional standards of mothers and babies in the Philippines and the protection of breastfeeding, and he emphasized the firm adherence of its members to the WHO International Milk Code as well as Executive Order 51 and its Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations.
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