Breastfeeding saves lives. Support the breastfeeding campaign today. sign now

The issue of whether to breast feed or not is more than just a personal or preferential option of the mother; it is a public health question that deserves the full attention and promotion of our government.

Statistics show that 10 million children die before the age of 5 years and that 6 million of these deaths are associated with malnutrition. The lack of adequate nutrients of babies in the Philippines have resulted in 27.6\% of 0-5 year old babies who are underweight and 30.4\% who have stunted growth.

These figures could have dropped dramatically if more mothers would breast feed their child. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), no breast-milk substitute, not even the most sophisticated and nutritionally balanced formula, can begin to offer the numerous unique health advantages that breast milk provides for babiesЁ.

Over 30 studies from both developing and developed countries around the world show that:

Non-breast fed children have 14 times the risk of dying from diarrhea, 3.6 times the risk of dying from pneumonia, and 2.5 times the risk of dying from other infections compared to those exclusively breastfed.
Infants who breastfed have fewer chronic diseases like diabetes, and acute lymphoblastic leukemia
Breastfed children have higher I.Q., higher earnings potential and more opportunities to prioritize education
Breastfed children have healthier mothers

The urgency to campaign for the importance of using breast milk instead of infant formulas has led to the signing in 1984 of an International Milk Code which was approved by the General Assembly of the WHO to which the Philippines is a member.

To fully realize the implementation of this code former President Corazon Aquino signed Executive Order 51 otherwise known as the National Milk Code of the Philippines which protects and promotes breast-feeding through the regulation of marketing for infant and follow-on formula, milk products, bottled complementary foods, feeding bottles, and other products that substitute breast-feeding.

In the Philippines, the importance of the campaign to use breast milk as the healthier and more natural alternative to infant formula will actually help us achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to eradicate poverty and hunger, and to reduce child mortality.

In this light, We, the different organizations, bind together to support the Department of Health for the implementation of the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR). Let us help in ensuring a better and healthy tomorrow for our children and that of the next generation. End the use of infant milk formula substitutes, support breast feeding today.

PETITION


We, the undersigned, of legal age, hereby appeal to the respective authorities to:

1. Enforce the Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) issued by the Department of Health (DOH) regarding the restrictions on the marketing practices of Multinational Companies on the extensive and widespread advertisement of infant formula or breast milk substitutes.
2. Make a firm stand against the continued intervention of the US Chamber of Commerce, the Pharmaceutical Health Care Association of the Philippines (PHAP) and Multinational Companies such as Abbott Ross, Mead Johnson and Wyeth in pressuring the Philippine Government to protect their interests.
3. Promote the interest and health of infants through exclusive breast feeding up to six months.


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Serena SummersBy:
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Petition target:
President Gloria Macapagal - Arroyo, Department of Health (DOH) - Philippines

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