Child Welfare Code
Section 1. As used in this Ordinance, the following terms shall mean:
a) Children refer to persons below eighteen (18) years of age or those over but are unable to fully take care of themselves or protect themselves from abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation or discrimination because of physical or mental disability or condition;
b) Survival Rights deal with the provision in relation to parental and governmental duties and liabilities, adequate living standard and access to basic health and health services and social security;
c) Development Rights pertain to the access of a child to educational opportunities, access to relevant information, play, leisure, cultural activities, and the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion;
d) Protection Rights cover those which guard children against all forms of child abuse, exploitation and discrimination in major areas where a child is considered in an extremely difficult circumstances;
e) Participation Rights include the child’s freedom to express oneself in matters affecting his/her life as part of preparation for responsible parenthood and to freedom of association;
f) Circumstances which gravely threaten or endanger the survival and normal development of children which include, but are not limited to the following:
- Being in a community where there is an armed conflict or being affected by armed conflict-related activities;
- Working under conditions hazardous to life, safety and morals which unduly interfere with their normal development or working without provision for their education;
- Living in or finding for themselves in the streets of urban and rural areas without the care of parents or guardians or any adult supervision needed for their welfare;
- Being a member of indigenous cultural community and/or living under conditions of extreme poverty or in an area which is underdeveloped and/or lack or has inadequate access to basic services needed for a good quality of life;
- Being with family members or guardians having psychological problems grave enough for them to commit incest, siblings rape, lascivious acts and other forms of physical and mental abuse;
- Being a victim of man-made or natural disasters or calamity;
- Being a victim of an illegal transnational organization or child trafficking;
- Circumstances analogous to those above stated which endanger the life, safety or normal development of children.
g) Anti-social related activities are those acts against property, chastity and person which include but not limited to the following:
- Petty crimes such as snatching, shoplifting, misrepresentation;
- Using and pushing prohibited drugs, selling illegal or lewd reading materials;
- Pimping for young and old prostitutes, doing or participating in obscene shows;
- Gambling of any form;
- Rape and incest;
- Unjust and inhumane manner of eviction and demolition; and
- Any other circumstances as defined in the existing laws.
h) Benefit Dance refers to an exploitative dance promoted in the locality wherein young girls and boys who are tagged as benefit dancers are being offered to dance with any partner upon payment of a certain price.
i) Culturally Relevant Activities refer to activities showcasing the Filipino culture and tradition such as but not limited to the following:
- Ethnic dances;
- Historical drama;
- Folk dances;
j) Pre-school education refers to the age from birth up to six years of age (0-6) and known to be the critical phase of the child’s psychomotor development. It is the phase when ninety percent (90%) of the human brain is developed. It is therefore the phase when activities for developmental stimulation for children must be provided, hence, the need for early childhood care and development program.
Section 2. The City Government shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child. The Early Childhood Care and Development Program coupled with Parents Effectiveness Service Program on child survival and development shall include the following, among others:
2.1. The City Government shall develop, implement, and sustain its Day Care Service Program which is population and community based. The day care centers which shall serve 4 to 5 years old children shall be set-up in every barangay, the number of which shall depend on the population level of the community. The Manual on Day Care Service Program developed for the City of General Santos shall form part of the rules and regulations and implementing guidelines of the Day Care Service Program of the City Government.
2.2. The City Government shall develop, implement, and sustain a Child Minding Service Program for the care of 0 to 2 years old children of working parents during the day; provided, that the child minding service program need not take care of the children in a particular place but shall develop network of homes where adults may take care of the children with adequate supervision of a Social Welfare Officer of the City Social Welfare and Development Office; provided further, that where young children are left to the care of paid domestic, an elderly relative or older children without adequate and competent adult supervision, the City Social Welfare and Development Office shall furnish such training and adult supervision until the children’s care meets adequate standards whereby the children under their care will develop normally healthy, happy and loved children, even in the absence of their parents during working hours. The City Social Welfare and Development Office, in coordination with institutions dealing with under six year-old children, shall develop a manual for this service to augment the manual developed for the Day Care Service Program.
Section 3. The City Government shall implement and sustain the Primary Health Care Program to primarily cater to children. To further ensure the implementation of this Section, it shall take appropriate measures to support the program on health under the framework of primary health and preventive care.
3.1. The City Government shall continue to implement and support its maternal and child care service program which shall cater to the health of the mother which affects the child in the womb with the end in view of delivering a healthy baby.
3.2. The program on preventive child care and health services will include, among others, the monitoring and registration of births and the completion of the immunization series for prevention of tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertusis, neonatal tetanus, measles, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B, and such other diseases for which vaccines have been developed for administration to children up to five years of age.
3.3. The City Government shall ensure the availment of the hospital’s indigent fund by a child patient of indigent parents needing the professional services of a private doctor/specialist to be cured of his/her ailments, subject to the recommendation of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) after ensuring the availability of funds for such purpose.
Section 4. The City Government shall implement and sustain a Family and Community Welfare Support System for children. To further ensure the implementation of this Section it shall take appropriate measures to support the program on family and community under a family and community welfare and development framework.
There shall be established a Comprehensive Family and Community Welfare and Development Program which shall include courses and services on reproductive health, child health and child rearing practices, parent effectiveness, pre-marriage and marriage counseling, responsible parenthood, among others, in the context of Filipino psychology. This shall also include courses and services in community organizing such as the social preparation for people’s participation, community volunteer resource development, and social welfare structure development, among others. The following programs shall form part of this Comprehensive Family and Community Welfare Program which this government shall zealously support:
4.1. The City Government shall establish and support a Comprehensive Child and Youth Welfare and Development Program which shall include the services such as peer group service, community-based services for street children, community-based services for delinquent youth, and services for children in especially difficult circumstances, among others.
4.2. The City Government shall recognize the role of women in the formation of the society as well as the child, hence, it shall establish and support a Women Welfare and Development Program which shall include courses and services such as self-enhancement skills development, maternal and child care, skills training for employment and livelihood support, among others.
4.3. The City Government shall establish and sustain a growth and nutritional monitoring with nutritional feeding and supervision of nutritional intake of children at home and in school. This program shall be under the administration and supervision of the City Integrated Health Services Office. The program on nutrition shall include a monitoring and evaluation system which shall be established by said office.
4.4. The City Government shall support the “Balik Tulunghaan” Program being implemented by the City Social Welfare and Development Office Department of Education Culture and Sports and augment program funds therefor. The program implementation shall be coordinated with the General Santos City Child Welfare Council.
Section 5. There shall be established a comprehensive community support system for the survival and development, protection, security and participation of children in General Santos City. The community support system and structures shall be the General Santos City Child Welfare Council, the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children, among others.
5.1. The General Santos City Child Welfare Council is hereby institutionalized. The General Santos City Council for the Welfare of Children shall become the Consultative Assembly of General Santos City for its periodic planning and programming, assessment and evaluation. It shall act as a regulatory body for operations of all existing programs and projects designed for children.
5.2. In consonance with the revised guidelines issued by the National Child Welfare Council, the General Santos City Child Welfare Council shall be composed of the following:
- City Mayor
- Chairperson, Sanggunian Committee on Social Services
- City Planning and Development Coordinator
- City Civil Registrar
- City Social Welfare and Development Officer
- City Health Officer
- City Agriculturist
- City Schools Division Superintendent
- City Prosecutor
- Three (3) NGO Representatives
- City Federation of SK Presidents – SK Representative to SP
- ABC President
- A member of the Local Finance Committee
- City Local Government Operations Officer
- People’s Organization representative
- Department Head of the City Population and Management Office
5.3. The following shall be the functions of the General Santos City Child Welfare Council:
- Formulate city plan of action for children; incorporating projects and programs needing assistance by the barangays; and ensure its integration into the city development plan;
- Monitor and evaluate the implementation of the city and barangay action plans for children;
- Submit quarterly status report on the plan implementation to the Regional Child Welfare Council through the City Planning and Development Office;
- Promptly address issues and concerns affecting children and youth;
- Advocate for the passage of other relevant child and youth protective ordinances;
- Advocate for the increased support and resource allocation for children’s programs and projects;
- Provide technical assistance to the community-based front-line workers through conduct of capability building and human resource development activities;
- Prepare contingency measures to protect children and their families in crisis situations brought about by natural and man-made calamities;
- Ensure the proper implementation of this Ordinance.
5.4. The Council shall create Committees which it may deem appropriate and necessary whose chairmanship shall be held by the regular mandated members of the Council for the purpose of furthering its functions.
5.5. The secretariat support shall be lodged in the City Social Welfare and Development Office and shall be responsible for the documentation of proceedings and meetings and preparation of reports and other necessary documents needed by the Committee.
5.6. The Council members shall be authorized to receive honoraria in connection with the disposition of their respective functions. The rates for their honoraria shall be based and in consonance with the pertinent guidelines issued by the Commission on Audit and/or the Government Accounting and Auditing Manual.
5.7. There shall be created a Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) in every barangay in General Santos City. The Barangay Captains of the respective barangays are hereby mandated to spearhead the creation and strengthening of the said Council with the support of the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the Department of the Interior and Local Government and other concerned government and non-government agencies in the area.
Section 5.8. The membership of the respective BCPC’s shall be taken from responsible members of the community including a representative of the youth, as well as representatives of government and non-government organizations focused on children’s programs and youth whose area of assignment includes the particular barangay.
The barangay concerned shall establish the criteria and guidelines to be followed in choosing the members indicated in the preceding paragraph.
Section 5.8.1. The Barangay Council for the Protection of Children may engage the services of Social Welfare Aide to assist the BCPC in its duties and functions.
The Barangay Council for the Protection of Children Workers shall have the following functions:
- Provide access to social services for children in especially difficult circumstances. This includes access to medical assistance, educational and legal assistance;
- Provide initial intake for the report of abused children in the absence of area social worker;
- Coordinate for the conduct of information-dissemination campaigns or activities, fora or symposia on the responsibilities and liabilities of parents, and rights and responsibilities of children;
- Provide assistance in the information-dissemination of laws for the protection of children;
- Maintain a confidential record of cases of abused children;
- Maintain a BCPC bulletin board posting statistics of children served in the barangay, and minutes of the meeting of the BCPC;
- Provide technical assistance to the BCPC Action Officer to regularly conduct meetings and suggest issues to be undertaken on the meeting;
- Recommend and help in the screening of beneficiaries of the Barangay Scholarship Fund and Balik Tulunghaan Program taking priority the child laborer and streetchildren;
- Provide street education to streetchildren; and
- Submit semi-annual plan and accomplishment reports to the Office of the Barangay Captain and BCPC Action Officer concerned and furnished copies to the CSWDO.
Section 5.8.2. The BCPC Worker shall have the following qualifications:
- At least College level;
- Has a sincere concern for children as determined by CSWDO;
- No past derogatory police records;
- Has undergone psychological test conducted by the CSWDO Psychologist;
- Good in oral and written communication in the vernacular; and
- Must be a bonafide resident of the barangay where he/she intends to serve.
Section 5.8.3. Compensation of BCPC Workers. – The Barangay Council may provide compensation to its respective BCPC Worker chargeable against the proper account of the barangay, subject to the usual accounting and auditing rules and regulations.
5.9. The following shall be the functions of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children in each respective barangay:
- Foster education of every child in the barangay;
- Encourage the proper performance of duties of parents, and provide learning opportunities on the adequate rearing of children and on positive parent-child relationships;
- Protect and assist abandoned, maltreated and abused children and monitor cases filed against child abusers and report the same;
- Protect working children from abuse and exploitation;
- Take steps to prevent juvenile delinquency and assist parents and children with behavioral problems so that they can get expert advice;
- Adopt measures for the promotion of good health and nutrition status of children;
- Promote the opening and maintenance of playgrounds and day care centers and other services that are necessary for child and youth welfare;
- Coordinate the activities of organizations devoted for the welfare of children and secure their cooperation;
- Promote wholesome entertainment in the community especially in the movie houses;
- Assist parents whenever necessary in securing expert guidance counseling from the proper governmental or private agencies;
- Advocate for the passage of barangay and city plan of actions for children which addresses the needs of children in the community and ensure its integration into the Barangay Development Plan and implementation by the barangay;
- Submit quarterly barangay accomplishment report of the implementation of the plan to the General Santos City Child Welfare Council; and
- Arrest any individual who is actually committing, about to commit or has just committed an offense against the person of any minor.
5.10. Each Barangay shall regularly appropriate funds of not less than 5% from its annual and/or supplemental budgets to support the administrative and operational needs of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children.
Section 6. The City Government, in its effort to establish a community-based strategy for the protection of children, shall endeavor to institutionalize the foster homes for children with the technical assistance and supervision of the Department of Social Welfare and Development-Field Office. In coordination with and technical assistance of the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the City Social Welfare and Development Office shall promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of this section as soon as this Ordinance has been approved.
Section 7. The City Government shall ensure the strict implementation of RA 8172, otherwise known as “An Act promoting the Salt Iodization Nationwide”. A committee created by the General Santos City Child Welfare Council shall be tasked to supervise the implementation of said law. Any person who is either salt producer, manufacturer, importer, or trader found to have violated this provision shall be penalized in the following manner after due proceeding by the court of justice having jurisdiction of such offense:
First Offense – a fine of one thousand pesos plus three months imprisonment;
Second Offense – a fine of three thousand pesos plus six months imprisonment;
Third Offense – a fine of five thousand pesos plus one year imprisonment; provided that the penalty for third offense shall be in addition to the revocation of the offender’s license to operate and provided further that in all cases where the subject matter of the offense is a prohibited product, the court shall order the recall and/or withdrawal of the product from the market.
Section 8. All hospitals in General Santos City shall comply with the requirements of the Department of Health for a Mother-Baby Friendly Hospital. The General Santos City Child Welfare Council shall establish a committee tasked to monitor and ensure the compliance of all hospitals in General Santos City to the mandate of this provision. Any hospital found to have deliberately violated this mandate shall be recommended for appropriate sanctions by the Department of Health.
Section 9. In the approval of the proposed building plans of commercial buildings in General Santos City by the Office of the City Engineer, such Office shall ensure the inclusion of child-friendly facilities therein. And to avoid any happening of child accidents, the proposed plans of commercial buildings must observe the hereunder specifications:
- Balusters in staircases must be spaced in a manner that their distance from each other would not exceed six (6) inches to avoid children from accidentally falling through.
- In case of buildings having more than one storey, railings or balusters acting as horizontal or vertical barriers must be likewise spaced in a manner that their distance from each other must not exceed six (6) inches and said railings or balusters must have a height of not less than five (5) feet.
- Lavatories exclusively for children’s use must be installed in the proposed plans of commercial buildings to accommodate the personal necessities of children entering said buildings.
Section 10. For the purpose of catering the problems of lost children inside shopping malls and safeguarding their welfare, and for other purposes appurtenant to the welfare of the public, all shopping malls in General Santos City are hereby ordered to provide for a paging booth complete with paging system inside their stores. Failure to comply with this provision shall subject the offender to a fine of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) in addition to the suspension of permit to operate business for One (1) year.
Section 11. To ensure that safe and adequate nutrition for all infants in General Santos City is provided, it is hereby ordered that Executive Order No. 51 entitled: “Adopting a National Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes, Breastmilk Supplements and Related Products, Penalizing Violations Thereof, and for other purposes” shall be strictly implemented. Any person who has been found to have violated the said Code shall be penalized in accordance with the provisions of Section 10 thereof.
Section 12. The City Government shall make a periodic comprehensive survey and situational analysis on the differently-abled children in the city. The City Social Welfare and Development Office together with the Offices of the City Schools Division Superintendent, City Health and Population Management and Development shall spearhead the conduct of this situational analysis on differently-abled children in the city. The result of this situational analysis shall be the basis of the planning, by the Child Welfare Council and other concerned agencies, for programs and projects for these children.
Section 13. Training program for educators and health professional handling differently-abled children shall form part of the priority programs of the City Government of General Santos City, hence, funds which are to be sourced from the 20% Local Government Development Fund (LGDF) shall be provided therefor.
Section 14. The City Government shall support the Special Education Program which is presently implemented by the Department of Education by providing regular assistance thereto. The City Government with the assistance of DepED, shall ensure that the Special Education Center shall be set-up in public schools whenever and wherever necessary to enable the differently-abled children to enroll if possible within their respective barangays. The City Government shall regularly provide funds for the SPED program to be taken from the Special Education Fund (SEF).
Section 15. The City Government shall provide for a support system to the pre-school education program for early childhood care and development initiated by the POs and NGOs by significantly responding to the gaps of government service in providing for a pre-school education program having an alternative curriculum which is developmentally appropriate and culturally relevant to urban poor communities; encouragement of accreditation; materials; technical assistance such as enrichment training for facilitators; and financial aid and monitoring activities for community based Early Childhood Care and Development Program (ECCD) as an alternative approach for the continuing basic problem of urban poor children.
Section 16. To ensure that the barangays shall give priority to the welfare of children in their respective barangays, the City Council shall review the barangay budget and give strict attention to the allocation of funds for programs, projects and services for the welfare of children.
Section 17. A barangay-level program for the revival of indigenous games reflective of the cultural diversity of General Santos City shall be installed. The City Government shall allocate space for recreation and provide recreational facilities appropriate for children’s gender and age. A regular cultural program appropriate for each children’s age-group and gender shall be designed with due respect to cultural diversity. This regular cultural program shall be spearheaded by the respective barangay councils under the leadership of the Barangay Chairman and the Chairman on Committee on Social Services. The existing community structures in the barangays shall be tapped to support this program.
Section 18. In support to the socio-cultural development of children of General Santos City, the City Government shall invest in the production of local literature for children and other relevant materials. The barangay governments shall also be encouraged to invest in such project.
Section 19. Marriage License applicants shall be required to participate to a Parenting Orientation Course 1 or Pre-marriage Counseling Seminar, among other requirements, prior to the issuance of marriage license by the Local Civil Registrar. This course shall become an integral part of existing Family Planning Seminar on Reproductive Health Course in close coordination with the City Health Office, the City Social Welfare and Development Office and City Population Management Office.
Parent-applicants for birth certificate of their children shall also be required to participate to a Parenting Orientation II Course before issuance of Certificate of Live Birth by the Civil Registrar without prejudice to the early registration of birth requirement under existing law.
Section 20. As part of the advocacy, information and education campaign of the government on the survival and development, protection and security, and participation rights of children, the Convention on the Rights of Children shall be encouraged to include as part of the school curriculum of the schools in General Santos City, both public and private at all levels.
Section 21. Teachers, especially those in the kindergarten, elementary, and high school, are encouraged to undertake continuous training on the rights of the child and sensitivity to children in need of special protection to be able to help them. The training shall be spearheaded by the General Santos City Child Welfare Council and the Department of Education in coordination with the City Social Welfare and Development Office.
Section 22. There shall be a comprehensive program to be formulated by the General Santos City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and the General Santos City Council for the Welfare of Children in coordination with other government agencies, the private sector or NGOs concerned within one (1) year from the date of effectivity of this Code to protect children against child prostitution; child trafficking; obscene publications and indecent shows and other acts of abuse; and circumstances which endanger child survival and normal development. The program shall cover the strict implementation of the provisions of PD 603, otherwise known as “The Child Welfare Code”, RA 7610, as amended, otherwise known as “An act providing for stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination, providing penalties for its violation, and for other purposes”, and all other laws affording protection against child exploitation.
Section 23. All establishments or enterprises caught promoting or facilitating child prostitution and sexual abuse, child trafficking, obscene publications and indecent shows, and other acts of abuse shall be immediately closed and be fined an amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) with their authority or license to operate permanently cancelled, without prejudice to the owner, manager and other personnel thereof for being prosecuted under RA 7610, as amended, otherwise known as “An Act Providing for Stronger Deterrence and Special Protection Against Child Abuse, Exploitation And Discrimination, Providing Penalties for its Violation, and for Other Purposes”.
Section 24. All hotels, sauna baths, inns, motels, night clubs and other establishments of similar services shall be required to post notices and information about child protection to serve as deterrent to committing child trafficking, prostitution and other sexual abuse. The notices and information to be posted shall be developed by the Child Welfare Council with the technical assistance of the City Social Welfare and Development Office. To ensure the compliance by the concerned establishments to this section of this Ordinance, the office of the City Mayor through the License Division shall require these establishments to post such information or notices before their respective licenses shall be renewed and/or approved.
Section 25. No working permit shall be issued by the City Government to an applicant without establishing his Birth Certificate duly certified as true copy by the Office of the Local Civil Registrar. In the absence of such duly certified Birth Certificate, the applicant for a working permit may prove that he is of legal age upon showing any two (2) of the following documents:
- Voter’s Affidavit;
- Driver’s License;
- Court Records attesting to the applicant’s true age;
- School Records of the applicant.
Any act of falsification committed by any government official or employee in violation of this provision shall subject the latter to appropriate criminal and administrative liabilities and, if proven guilty therefor, shall suffer the highest penalty provided for by law.
Section 26. The City Government shall create special programs for the protection of children who are victims of incest and rape cases. It shall also endeavor to muster the support of the private sector more particularly the local chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines and the academe to provide legal and protective services to children who are in need of such services.
Section 27. Application for suspension of sentences of children charged with criminal offenses in connection with or related to any anti-social activities as defined herein shall be done by the Department of Social Welfare and Development with the assistance of the City Social Welfare and Development Office. A special team from such offices shall be tasked to monitor closely the cases involving children in court to adequately enforce the suspension of sentences. Appropriate and responsive rehabilitation program shall be afforded to them under the care of the City Social Welfare and Development Office pursuant to P.D. 603 otherwise known as the “Child and Youth Welfare Code”; RA 7610 otherwise known as “An Act providing for stronger deterrence and special protection against child abuse, exploitation and discrimination, providing penalties for its violation, and for other purposes” and other laws affording protection to children. The framework of assistance shall be designed by the General Santos City Council for the Welfare of Children in close coordination with the NGOs and other groups having special interests on children’s rehabilitation.
Section 28. The City Government, in its desire to protect the children who may either be the victims or the accused in any crime, shall give moral and other necessary support to the prosecutors or counsels handling their cases to ensure the speedy disposition and preferential settlement thereof.
Section 29. Each Police Station in General Santos City shall have a Child and Youth Relations Section tasked to handle cases involving children. Child-friendly police procedures shall be implemented as contained in the Police Handbook on the Management of Cases of Children in Especially Difficult Circumstances. Each PNP element shall be provided a copy of the said handbook. The said Section must be administered by a female police officer.
Section 30. A continuing special courses for members of the Philippine National Police shall be designed to handle effectively the children involved in anti-social activities. All police officers shall take up the course especially those who are interested to be assigned with the Child and Youth Relations Section (CYRS) and other CYR Offices in each PNP detachment.
The course shall be designed and provided by the Child Welfare Council in close coordination with the PNP Child Protection Team, NGOs and other Civic Organizations focused on child and youth programs.
Section 31. The commission of an offense against a minor(s) by any person while said minor(s) is being placed under his or her custody for whatever reason shall subject such offender(s) to the maximum penalty provided by law for the offense committed.
Section 32. There shall be established a Rehabilitation Center for Children Offenders or Youthful Offenders in the City of General Santos. Said Center shall be equipped with necessary facilities for conducive dwelling. The Rehabilitation Center shall develop home life services, psycho-social interventions and other services that will make the center conducive to life and rehabilitation.
Section 33. To be able to safeguard the physical and psycho-social conditions of detained children having impending criminal charges, the City Government shall establish within the City Jail a separate detention cell exclusively for children and youthful offenders.
Section 34. There shall be established and sustained by the City Government a substitute home for the girls to provide protective services for female children and youth who have been abandoned, neglected, the survivors of rape, incest, the street children, and others in need of special protection, after they shall have been assessed by the proper office concerned and whose situation after such assessment calls for admittance into the center. Within ten (10) days after the approval of this Ordinance, the concerned division of the CSWDO shall draft the general rules and guidelines for the admission of female children and youth into the center including their proper care, subject to the approval of this Sanggunian.
The amount of P50.00 per day per child shall be provided to sustain the board and lodging of the wards of the RTCCY, subject to an increase of 5% per year when necessary. The reception and training center shall be strictly a “no smoking area”.
Section 35. In addition to the rights guaranteed to indigenous and Moro children under RA 7610 and other existing laws, the Office of the City Mayor, through the Cultural Communities Affairs Division, shall create a committee to study and design training program for teachers assigned to Moro communities which is culture-specific and relevant to the needs and existing situation of their communities.
Section 36. A Council for Moro and Indigenous Communities in General Santos City shall be created to facilitate planning, decision-making, implementation, and evaluation of all government programs affecting children of indigenous and Moro peoples. NGOs focused on these communities shall also be recognized, respected and represented to the Council.
Section 37. The City Social Welfare and Development Office in coordination with other government and non-government agencies shall design a comprehensive psycho-social program for both children and their families especially those affected by armed-conflict.
Section 38. Barangay level fund raising activities shall not include “benefit dance” as defined in this Ordinance. Any person caught promoting such “benefit dance” in the Barangay shall be punished by one (1) year imprisonment and fined with Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) after due proceeding by the court of justice having jurisdiction thereof.
Culturally relevant activities shall be promoted instead of utilizing young women as commodities during “benefit dance.”
Section 39. The City Government shall protect the school children from unsanitary food and junk food. In furtherance of this mandate, all vendors within the vicinity of all school campuses within the city shall be subjected to safety and sanitation standards.
Section 40. All establishments operating computerized video games shall be required to seek a separate permit to operate said line of business activity from the City Social Welfare and Development Office to ensure that the operation of the same shall be strictly regulated with the end of protecting the welfare of children.
Section 41. The Sagip Batang Manggagawa (SBM) also known as the “Inter-Agency Quick Action Team Against Child Labor”, shall be established to immediately respond and act upon reported cases involving child labor. The said team shall have the following composition:
- Representative of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
- Representative of the Public Employment Service Office (PESO)
- Representative of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office
- Officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP)
- Representative of the Department of the Interior and Local Government
- Representatives from three (3) NGOs
- Action Officer of the Child Welfare Council
- Action Officer of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC)
- Chairman of the Committee on Social Services of the Sangguniang Panlungsod
- Representative of the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO)
- Representative of the Women’s and Children’s Desk, Philippine National Police
- Representative of the Office of the Local Civil Registrar
- Representative of the City Integrated Health Services
- Representative of the Permits and Licenses Division, Office of the City Mayor
Section 42.A. Subject to certain exceptions and conditions enumerated by Rules and Regulations Implementing R.A. 7658, An Act Prohibiting the Employment of Children Below Fifteen (15) Years of Age in Public and Private Undertaking, minors shall not be suffered or permitted to work, specifically in the following activities or undertaking, viz.:
- driving of motorized or non-motorized tricycle or any public utility vehicle;
- fare collections at public utility jeepneys/vehicles; and
- coin diving at any wharf in the City.
Section 42.B. Any person who allows or causes or compels any minor to do any of the prohibited acts under preceding Section shall be punished by a fine of two thousand pesos (P2,000.00) or six (6) months imprisonment or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court.
Section 43. A round-the-clock reporting and monitoring base against child abuse shall be established and anchored by the City Social Welfare and Development Office. Said hotline shall act as the 24-hour vanguard of children in all crimes and abuses committed against them by any person. Upon receiving information regarding any crime committed against a child, the Bantay-Bata Hotline shall immediately report to the appropriate authorities such incident and shall monitor every progress that may occur in relation to the apprehension and prosecution of the criminal.
Section 44. The interest and welfare of children in the family, school, community or other organization or institution shall be heard. Every child has the right to express his opinion freely insofar as such opinion is not contrary to law, morals, good customs, public safety and public policy, and to have that opinion be taken into account in all matters or procedures affecting the child. It shall be the responsibility of the adults to provide opportunities for children to express their views, organize among themselves, obtain information, make ideas or information known regardless of tribe, sex, religious belief.
Section 45. It is important to consult and provide venue for expression of children’s views in the City Government’s policies. Consistent herewith, it is necessary that 7 to 12 years old and 13 to 18 years old are convened once a year, specially during the children’s month to be heard collectively of their clamors and needs. Every NGOs concerned with these groups of children shall be instrumental in the process of the preparation and evaluation of the convention.
Section 46. The Division for Children’s Concern under the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development shall be created to beef up the capacity of this office in realizing the provisions of this Ordinance. Said division shall specially focus on specific programs and projects concerning children. It shall also file necessary complaints on cases of unlawful acts committed against children in the most expeditious process.
Section 47. Components of the Division for Children’s Concern. The Division under the City Social Welfare and Development Office shall have the following components, among others, to orchestrate its various program and projects consistent with the provisions of this Ordinance, Laws and International Covenants:
- Reception and Study Center for Child and Youth
- Psycho-social Rehabilitation Centers for Children in Extremely Difficult Circumstances
- Child’s Rights Advocacy and Campaign
- Early Childhood Care and Development Program
- Legal Assistance Program
Section 48. Penalty for Refusal or Neglect on the part of any Government Official or Employee to Implement this Ordinance. Any Government Official or Employee, charged with the duty to implement this Ordinance, and who refuses or neglects his duty shall be punished with six (6) months suspension from service without pay; provided that due process on administrative discipline as established under the Civil Service Law and other pertinent laws shall be strictly observed before said penalty is imposed to such offender.
Section 49. For the effective and efficient implementation of this Ordinance, the City Government shall regularly appropriate funds not less than five percent (5%) of its Annual Budget which is exclusive of the appropriation intended for the City Health Office and the Special Education Fund and without limitation to an additional appropriation in the Supplemental Budget. The amount of One Million Pesos (P1,000,000.00) shall be appropriated solely for the purposes of SPED which appropriation shall be sourced from the General Fund.
Section 50. The following regulations shall be enforced for the protection of children within and near the vicinity of entertainment establishments:
- Parents, guardians, or any person who knowingly allow children to enter or loiter within the vicinity of an entertainment establishment, one hour prior, during and one hour after operation shall be penalized.
Violation shall be punishable by a fine of P1,500.00 or an imprisonment of not exceeding two (2) months for every offense.
- Children found entering or loitering within the vicinity of an entertainment establishment shall immediately be rescued, and be provided with appropriate intervention as the circumstances warrant.
Section 51. No child shall be employed as a worker by any entertainment establishment operator. Any entertainment establishment caught employing children shall be immediately closed and be fined an amount of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00) and the operator be imprisoned for twelve (12) months and without prejudice for being prosecuted under RA 7610, otherwise known as “Special Protection of Children Against Child Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act”, and other pertinent national laws including the law on trafficking in persons. Thus, operators must exert utmost efforts to determine the age of any applicant for job in their entertainment establishment.
Section 52. The city government shall provide special care and support services for children infected with HIV and AIDS or for children of persons infected and affected with HIV and AIDS until they reach the age of eighteen (18) or when foster care outside the government may be available.
Sale of Rubber Cement to Minors
Section 1. The sale of, or offer to sell, rubber cement, commonly known as rugby, and other similar substances, to minors by the owners or operators of stores without requiring the written consent of their parents or guardians as a condition for such sale or offer to sell is hereby declared prohibited.
Section 2. As used in this Ordinance, the term:
- Rubber Cement or Rugby – shall mean and include any liquid substance having the property of releasing toxic vapors or fumes which when sniffed, smelled, inhaled or introduced into the physiological system of the body produces a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction, dulling of the brain or nervous system, depression, giddiness, paralysis, irrational behavior or in any manner changing, distorting or disturbing the auditory, visual or mental processes.
- Other Similar Substances – are a broad range of drugs whose volatile vapors are taken in via the nose and trachea, and are taken by volatilization, and do not include drugs that are inhaled after burning or heating. These substances are classified by their chemical structure as aliphatic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, ketones, haloalkanes, and nitrites.
- Minors – shall mean persons below eighteen (18) years of age.
Section 3. It shall be the duty of the owner or management of stores in General Santos City to secure from the minors written consent of their parents or guardians for such sale of rubber cement.
Section 4. The penalty of imprisonment of six (6) months to one (1) year and a fine of five thousand pesos (P5,000.00), shall be imposed upon the owner or operator of store found guilty violating this Ordinance.
If the offender is a corporation, partnership, or association, the officer, manager, or employee thereof who is responsible for the violation of this Ordinance shall suffer the penalty imposed hereof, without prejudice to the immediate cancellation of the license to operate and closure of its establishment.
Prohibition on Stores to Sell Intoxicating Drinks or Cigarette to Minors
Section 1. Prohibited Acts and Omissions. –
- No owner/operator of shopping malls, department stores, sari-sari stores, tobacco/cigarette/cigar and liquor shops, bars, cigarette vendor and peddler, or any person who has the possession of tobacco products such as but not limited to cigars and cigarettes, liquors or intoxicating drinks in General Santos City shall sell or cause the sale of any such tobacco product, liquor or intoxicating drink to any person who is below eighteen (18) years of age;
- No person shall give for free of any kind of cigarette or tobacco product, liquor or intoxicating drink to minors;
- No person shall command/request a minor on errand to buy any cigarette or any other tobacco product or liquor or intoxicating drink;
- No owner/operator of shopping malls, department stores, sari-sari stores shall assign their minor employees to sell or deliver to customers any kind of cigarette or tobacco product or liquor or intoxicating drink;
- All owners/operators of shopping malls, department stores or sari-sari stores that sell any kind of cigarette or tobacco product or liquor or intoxicating drink shall post on a conspicuous place of their establishments/stores a notice to the effect that tobacco cigarettes or any tobacco product or liquor or intoxicating drinks are not for sale to minors and indicating in that notice the number of this ordinance.
Section 2. Any person who violates the provisions of this Ordinance shall be punished as follows:
- Violation of section 1, paragraphs a, d and e, by a convenient store, grocery or department store shall be fined by Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00);
- Violation of section 1, paragraphs a, d and e by a sari-sari store shall be fined by One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00);
- Violation of section 1, paragraph a by a cigarette vendor or peddler shall be fined by One Thousand Pesos (P1,000.00); and
- Violation of section 1, paragraphs b and c by any person shall be fined by five hundred pesos (P00).
In case the violator is a juridical person, the owner, proprietor, manager or person charged with the operation or management of said entity shall be responsible hereof.
Playing of Computer Games, Internet-based Games, Billiard and Seeing Movie During School Hours
Section 1. No minor, below eighteen (18) years old, shall play computer games, internet-based games, billiards, and see movies during school hours.
As used in this Ordinance, computer games, internet-based games or billiards are those games played on establishments situated outside the residence of minors during the usual school hours of weekdays, except during holidays, summer and Christmas vacations, from 8:00 o’clock in the morning up to 5:00 o’clock in the afternoon. Watching movies during the aforesaid specific period shall also be prohibited to minors.
Section 2. The owners, management or administrators of computer shops, internet cafés, billiard halls, and movie houses are hereby required to post or cause the posting of a billboard or signage at the entrance of their respective establishment concisely indicating the subject and the act sought to be regulated by this Ordinance. They are also required to ensure that no minor below eighteen (18) years of age is playing computer game, internet-based game, billiards or watching movie within their establishment during the aforesaid periods.
(a.) Any minor found guilty violating this Ordinance shall be apprehended and endorsed immediately to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for proper counseling.
(b.) Anyowner, management or administrator of computer shop, internet café, billiard hall, or movie house who failed to comply with the provision of this Ordinance shall be penalized with a fine of Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000.00) for the first offense, Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00) for the second offense, and Five Thousand Pesos (P5,000.00) and cancellation of business permit for the third offense.
Section 4. Within thirty (30) days after the effectivity of this Ordinance, the Office of the City Mayor, the City Social Welfare and Development Office and the General Santos City Police Office shall formulate rules and regulations for the smooth implementation of this Ordinance.
Guidelines on Infant and Young Child Feeding Program
Section 1. General Santos City hereby declares that the ordinance serves to improve the survival of infants and young children by improving their nutritional status, growth and development through optimal feeding.
Section 2. This policy shall cover the entire territory and jurisdiction of General Santos City, health sector, whether government or private; including professional groups, private sector, and all stakeholders concerned.
Section 3. For purposes of this ordinance, the following terms shall mean:
- Breast milk substitute – means any food marketed or otherwise represented as a partial or total replacement for breast milk to include infant formula, water semi-solid foods;
- Complementary feeding – means the giving of foods at six months in order to meet the evolving nutritional requirement of the infant;
- Complementary food- refers to any food, whether manufactured or locally prepared, suitable as a complement to breast milk or to infant formula which either become insufficient to satisfy the nutritional requirement of the infant. Also called weaning food or breast milk supplement;
- Exclusive breastfeeding- means giving breast milk alone and no other foods or drink not even water with the exception of vitamins and medicine drops;
- Health Care System- means governmental or non-governmental or private institutions or organizations engaged, directly or indirectly, in health care for mothers, infants and pregnant women; nurseries or child institutions;
- Health worker- means a person working in a component of such health system whether professional or non – professional, including volunteer workers;
- Infant- means a person falling within the age bracket of 0-12 months;
- Infant formula- refers to breast milk substitute formulated industrially or may refer also to that which is prepared at home;
- Optimal Feeding- feeding the right amount of nutrients on a proper schedule to achieve the best performance and the longest possible lifetime in good health;
- Sample- means single or small quantities of a product provided without a cost;
- Supplies- mean quantities of a product provided for use over an extended period, free at a low price, for social purposes, including those provided to families in need;
- Young Children- refer to persons falling within the age of 1-3 yrs. old.
Section 4. In the enforcement of this ordinance, the following policy guidelines shall be observed:
A. Target Beneficiaries
- Infants, 0-11 months
- Young children, 1 year up to 3 years old
B. Breastfeeding Practices
- Early Initiation of Breastfeeding.
Breastfeeding is an unequalled way of providing ideal food for the healthy growth and development of infants. It is also an integral part of the reproductive process with important implications for the health of mothers. Infants shall be initiated to breastfeeding within one hour after birth. This will stimulate early onset of full milk production and promote bonding of mother and child. All medically trained personnel including doctors, nurses, and midwives and other birth attendants shall ensure that newborns are supported to their early initiation to breastfeeding. The health care delivery system in all facilities shall ensure that all newborns are initiated to breastfeeding within an hour after delivery.
- Exclusive Breastfeeding for the first six months.
Infants shall be exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life to achieve optimum growth and development. Exclusive breastfeeding means giving breast milk alone and no other foods or drinks, not even water, with the exception of vitamins and medicine drops. Exclusive breastfeeding from birth is possible except for a few medical conditions, and unrestricted exclusive breastfeeding results in ample milk production. The conclusion of experts in their systematic review of the optimal duration of breastfeeding that there was no observable deficits in growth for infants exclusively breastfed for 6 or more months. In addition, this also reduces morbidity due to gastro-intestinal infections and their mothers are more likely to remain amenorrheic for six months postpartum.
- Extended breastfeeding up to two years and beyond.
Breastfeeding shall be continued as frequent and on demand for up to two years of age and beyond. Although volume of breast-milk consumed declines as complementary foods are added, breast-milk contribute significantly as it provides one third to two thirds of average total energy intake towards the end of first year.
C. Complementary Feeding Practices
- Appropriate complementary feeding.
Infants shall be given appropriate complementary foods at age six months in order to meet their evolving nutritional requirements. Appropriate complementary feeding means:
a. timely – meaning that they are introduced when the need for energy and nutrients exceeds what can be provided through exclusive and frequent breastfeeding;
b. adequate – meaning that they provide sufficient energy, protein and micronutrients to meet a growing child’s nutritional needs;
c. safe – meaning that they are hygienically stored and prepared, and fed with clean hands using clean utensils and not bottles and teats or artificial nipples;
d. properly fed – meaning that they are given consistent with a child’s signals of appetite and satiety, and that meal frequency and feeding method actively encouraging the child, even during illness, to consume sufficient food using fingers, spoon or self-feeding – are suitable for age.
- Ensure access to appropriate complementary foods.
Appropriate complementary feeding interventions shall encourage diversified approaches to ensure access to foods that will adequately meet energy and nutrient needs of growing children, such as use of home- and community- based technologies to enhance nutrient density, bio-availability and the micronutrient content of local foods.
- Use of locally available and culturally acceptable foods.
Appropriate complementary food shall include locally available and culturally acceptable foods that meet the energy and nutrient need of young children. Mothers, particularly of infants and young children, shall be provided with sound and culture-specific nutrition counseling and recommendations of a widest array of indigenous foodstuffs. The agriculture sector has a particularly important role to play in ensuring that suitable foods for use in complementary feeding are produced, readily available and affordable.
- Low-cost complementary foods/industrially processed foods.
In addition, low-cost complementary foods, prepared with locally available ingredients using suitable small-scale production technologies in community settings, shall be encouraged to meet the nutritional needs of older infants and young children. Industrially processed complementary foods also provide an option for some mothers who have the means to buy them and the knowledge and facilities to prepare and feed them safely. Processed-food products for infants and young children shall, when sold or otherwise distributed, meet applicable standards recommended by the Codex Alimentarius Commission and also the Codex Code of Hygienic Practice for Foods for Infants and children.
D. Micronutrient supplementation
Based on DOH Administrative Order 119 s. 2003 dated December 2, 2003 issued by the Secretary of Health – Updated Guidelines on Micronutrient supplementation, the following are the priority targets for micronutrient supplementation:
- Universal Vitamin A supplementation shall continue to be provided to infants and children 6–71 months of age. Vitamin A supplementation shall be given to children at risk, particularly those with measles, persistent diarrhea, severe pneumonia and malnutrition to help re-establish body reserves of Vitamin A and protect against severity of subsequent infections and or prevent complications. Postpartum women shall be given Vitamin A capsule within one month after delivery to increase Vitamin A concentration of her breastmilk as well as Vitamin A status of their breastfed children. Children with xerophthalmia, although rare, shall be treated. Children during emergencies shall be a priority for Vitamin A supplementation following schedule for universal supplementation and for high-risk children.
- Iron supplementation shall be provided to pregnant and lactating women and low birth weight babies and children 6–11 months of age. In addition, anemic and underweight children 1–5 years of age shall also be provided with iron supplements.
- Iodine supplementation shall be provided to women of reproductive age group, school age children and adult males in areas when the urinary iodine excretion of less that 50ug/L in more than 20% of the population, goiter prevalence among school children is greater than 5% and high prevalence of goiter among males.
E. Universal Salt Iodization (USI.).
Families shall be encouraged and educated to use iodized salt in the preparation of food for older infants and young children.
F. Food Fortification
Food fortification of staple foods will help ensure that older infants and young children receive adequate amounts of micronutrients. The Department of Health as mandated by law shall also continue to encourage manufacturers to fortify processed foods and food products based on the BFAD standards.
G. Exercising other feeding options
- Most mothers can and should breastfeed, just as most infants can and should be breastfed.
- For those few health situations where infants cannot, or should not, be breastfed, the choice of the best alternative – expressed breast milk from an infant’s own mother, breast milk from a healthy wet-nurse or a human-milk bank, or a breast-milk substitute fed with a cup, which is a safer method than a feeding bottle and teat – depends on individual circumstances.
- Only under exceptional circumstances can a mother’s milk be considered unsuitable for her infant. There are three metabolic disorders that may interfere with breastfeeding, namely galactosemia, phenylketonuria and maple syrup urine disease.
- Galactosemia – infants suffering from this disease cannot be fed either breastmilk or other infant or milk formula since lactose must be eliminated from the diet of these infants. Specially formulated milk-based, but lactose-free preparations or soya-based formula are required.
- Phenylketonuria – infants suffering from phenylketonuria may be breastfed while their phenylalanine blood levels are monitored. Breastmilk should be supplemented with or replaced by a special low-phenylalamine formula if concentrations reach dangerous levels.
- Maple syrup urine disease – as in the case of phenylketonuria, breastmilk can be combined with special synthetic formulas low in the non-tolerated amino acids.
- Feeding with a suitable breastmilk substitute
- In limited cases, for infants who do not receive breast milk, feeding with a suitable breast-milk substitute – for example an infant formula or other specially prepared formula that conform with applicable Codex Alimentarius standards, or a home-prepared formula with micronutrient supplements – shall be demonstrated only by health workers, or other community workers if necessary, and only to the mothers and other family members who need to use it, and the information given shall include adequate instructions for appropriate preparation and the health hazards of inappropriate preparation and use. Infants who are not breastfed, for whatever reason, shall receive special attention from the health and social welfare system since they constitute a risk group.
H. Feeding in exceptionally difficult circumstances
- As a general rule, the following is the range of feeding options for infants and young children in certain circumstances and during times of crisis:
a) Breastfeeding is the first and best feeding option for infants
b) Expressed breastmilk, fed by cup
c) Breastfeeding from healthy wet nurse
d) Human milk from milk bank, fed by cup
e) Infant formula,(preferably generically labeled), fed by cup
- Families in difficult situations including but not limited to natural or human-induced calamities, shall require special attention and practical support to be able to feed their children adequately. Wherever possible, mothers and babies shall remain together and be provided the support they need to exercise the most appropriate feeding option under the circumstances.
- Health workers shall ensure the protection, promotion and support on breastfeeding and timely, safe and appropriate complementary feeding. In exceptional cases, when a small number of infants have to be fed on breast-milk substitutes and milk supplements, ensure that substitutes/supplements, such as infants formula is safe, suitable and prepared in accordance with applicable Codex Alimentarius standards, or a home-prepared formula with micronutrient supplements.
- Artificial feeding is difficult in these situations because the basic needs for artificial feeding such as clean water, fuel and utensils are scarce. Transport and adequate storage conditions of breastmilk substitutes cause additional problems. To minimize the risks of artificial feeding and avoid commercial exploitation of crises, the following procedures are recommended:
a) Donations of breastmilk substitutes, feeding bottles, teats and commercial baby foods should be limited, if not refused.
b) If needed, breastmilk substitutes should never be part of a general distribution. Distribution should only be to infants with a clear need, and for as long as the infant need them (until a maximum of 1 year or until breastfeeding is re-established).
c) Bottles and teats should never be distributed, and their use should be discouraged. Cup feeding should be encouraged instead.
d) Information on adequate preparation and the hazards of inappropriate preparation of breastmilk substitutes or milk supplements should be given.
e) Uncontrolled distribution of infant formula or milk supplements during difficult situations can lead to early and unnecessary cessation of breastfeeding. More detailed guidelines shall be developed in collaboration with the national disaster coordinating body and health teams and provided to local government units and others concerned.
- Infants and young children who are malnourished are most often found in environments where improving the quality and quantity of food intake is particularly problematic. To prevent a recurrence and to overcome the effects of chronic malnutrition, these children need extra attention both during the early rehabilitation phase and over the longer term. Nutritionally adequate and safe complementary foods may be particularly difficult to obtain and dietary supplements may be required for these children. Continued frequent breastfeeding and, when necessary, relactation are important preventive steps since malnutrition often has its origin in inadequate or disrupted breastfeeding.
- The proportion of infants with low birth weight is about 13%. Most are born at or near term and can breastfeed within the first hour after birth. Breast milk is particularly important for preterm infants and the small proportion of term infants with very low birth weight, they are at increased risk of infection, long-term ill health and death.
I. Feeding options for HIV positive mothers.
Despite that HIV infections is reported to be slow and low in the Philippines, there is a need to address concern on the absolute risk of HIV transmission through breastfeeding for more than one year, which is globally between 10-20%. On the other hand, there is a need to balance the concern of HIV transmission through breastfeeding, with the increased risk of morbidity and mortality when infants are not breastfed. All HIV-infected mothers shall receive counseling, which includes provision of general information about meeting their own nutritional requirements and about the risks and benefits of various feeding options, and specific guidance in selecting the option most likely to be suitable for their situation. Feeding options for HIV positive mothers include exclusive breastfeeding, wet-nursing, expressing and heat-treating breastmilk, breastmilk from banks, commercial infant formula and home modified animal milk. Mothers shall be supported in their feeding options.
Children living in special circumstances.
Children living in special circumstances also require extra attention – for example, orphans and children in foster care, and children born to adolescent mothers, mothers suffering from physical or mental disabilities, drug – or alcohol-dependence, or mothers who are imprisoned or part of disadvantaged or otherwise marginalized populations.
- Support Systems.-
- Mothers, fathers and other caregivers shall have access to objective, consistent and complete information about appropriate feeding practices, free from commercial influence. In particular, they need to know about the recommended period of early initiation, exclusive and continued breastfeeding; the timing of the introduction of complementary foods; what types of food to give, the quantity, frequency, and how to feed these foods safely. Where fathers are concerned, research shows that breast-feeding is enhanced by the support and companionship they provide as family providers and caregivers.
- Mothers shall have access to skilled support to help them initiate and sustain appropriated feeding practices, and to prevent difficulties and overcome them when they occur. Knowledgeable health workers are well placed to provide this support, which shall be a routine part not only of regular prenatal, delivery and postnatal care but also of services provided for the well baby and sick child.
- “Infant and Young Child Feeding Specialist” to respond to common problems of mothers to initiate and sustain exclusive and continued breastfeeding practices and other feeding difficulties shall be accessible to mothers. The most common reasons for never breastfeeding and those who stop breastfeeding include insufficient milk, breast and nipple problem, weaning age and child refuse can be corrected through objective, consistent, accurate and complete information. Some of these problems need an expert to assist mothers to breastfeed. This specialist can be a doctor, nurse, midwife or an effective community health volunteer who have undergone an appropriate training.
- Community-based networks offering mother-to-mother support, and trained breastfeeding counselors working within, or closely with, the health care system, also have an important role to play in this regard.
- A communication and marketing plan shall be developed to generate high political support at all levels including communities and families.
- The Mother Baby Friendly Hospital Initiatives (MBFHI) shall be reviewed, accelerated and sustained. Efforts shall focus on the sustenance of certified MBF hospitals in the country to comply with the 10 steps to Successful Breastfeeding Expansion of the initiatives to other hospitals, health centers and clinics shall be part of the acceleration strategy.
- The Rooming-in and Breastfeeding Act (R.A. 7600) shall be strictly enforced in all hospitals of the country to ensure the fulfillment of the right of mothers to breastfeed and right of children to be breastfed. Rooming-In facilitates mother and child bonding and early full milk production since breastfeeding is on demand.
- All health facilities, public or private, in the health care system in the Philippines shall provide a supportive environment to Infant and Young Feeding practices through compliance to the Philippine Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes. The facility shall not display any breastmilk substitutes or any poster or sampling of such but instead provide an enabling environment to improve and promote breastfeeding and appropriate complementary feeding practices for infants and health and nutrition of mothers.
- Hospitals shall support and provide an enabling environment for mothers to ensure continued breastfeeding and adequate complementary feeding to their hospitalized sick children. Whenever feasible, mothers shall be allowed their breastfed children to stay with their hospitalized sick mother.
- Continuing training programs for promoting, protecting, supporting and improving Infant and Young Feeding shall be institutionalized for pre-service and in-service health providers. Knowledgeable health workers with the right attitude and practice can make a difference in the growth and development of children.
- Work places shall provide an enabling environment for breastfeeding mothers who return to work. This can include breastfeeding rooms, refrigerators for storage of breast milk, crèches, and breaks for breastfeeding or expressing milk among others. Ten steps shall also be defined to facilitate systematic implementation.
- Mothers shall also be able to continue breastfeeding and caring for their children after they return to paid employment. This can be accomplished by implementing maternity protection legislation and related measures consistent with ILO Maternity Protection Convention, 2000 No.183 and Maternity Protection Recommendation, 2000 No. 191. Maternity leave, day-care facilities and paid breastfeeding breaks shall be available for all women employed outside the home.
- The Department of Health as the lead agency shall ensure the fulfillment of the rights of children to the highest attainable standard of health care and nutrition. It shall enjoin all partners from both the government and non-government and private sector and from the international organizations to form a strong alliance for the fulfillment of the IYCF Strategy’s aims and objectives.
- Consistent with the accepted principles for avoiding conflict of interest, the Department shall not forge partnerships with manufacturers and distributors of infant formula, milk supplements, complementary foods, feeding bottles and teats and other related products.
Section 5. Implementing Mechanism.-
- An Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) task force shall be created at the city level composed of City Health Office (CHO) representatives, Department of Health (DOH) representative, Other Government Offices (GOs) and Non-Government Offices (NGOs);
- The members may designate their duly authorized representatives to every meeting of the task force.
- Periodic monitoring & evaluation of the progress of the implementation of IYCF strategy established, institutionalized and integrated with MCH reviews;
- IYCF task force shall be strengthened to ensure strict compliance to the laws in support to IYCF;
- Incentives and reward system shall be planned to sustain efforts on promoting, protecting and improving IYCF;
- Models of good practices shall be documented and disseminated to all stakeholders and local leaders.
Section 6. The City Health Office shall be empowered to spearhead the implementation of the program.
Section 7. Effective upon the approval of this ordinance, the Local Chief Executive shall issue an executive order creating a task force that will formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of this Ordinance.