Thirty-two (32) focal persons from 16 regions are oriented on new policies and issuances affecting the implementation of the Family Welfare Program (FWP) thru a Capacity Enhancement Session conducted by the Bureau of Workers with Special Concerns (BWSC) last May 28-29, 2015 in Manila. The BWSC manages the FWP, a program which engages establishments to introduce the concept of promoting the welfare of workers and their families as a key to workplace productivity.

“The FWP is beneficial to any company which implements the program as it will improve worker-management relations,” mentioned Assistant Secretary Maria Gloria A. Tango, the concurrent Officer-in-Charge of the Bureau in her welcome message. In the light of new policy issuances with employment related provisions that need to be implemented at the Regional level, “there is a great need to enhance the capacity of the field personnel to effectively implement the components under the FWP”, she added.

The directives of the Secretary are to increase compliance by establishments in the creation of Family Welfare Committees in all the establishments covered by the program and to ensure that workplace lactation stations and compensable lactation breaks are provided by the employer to nursing or lactating working mothers as well, cited Assistant Secretary Tango. To meet the directives, the FWP focal persons, need to intensify its links with the Labor Laws Compliance Officers who are tasked to check the implementation of FWP among establishments and other labor standards such as lactation stations and lactation breaks.

One of the highlights of the activity was the discussion on the recently signed Department Order No. 143 on the “Guidelines Governing Exemption of Establishments from Setting Up Workplace Lactation Stations”. Presented by Ms. Maria Evelyn Lita P. Manangan, Chief Labor and Employment Officer of the Bureau’s Women Workers Development Division, the participants were familiarized with the provisions of the Order, notably the instances when establishments may be granted exemption from setting up lactation stations, requirements for filing an application with the Department of Labor and Employment and the four prototypes or models of workplace lactation stations.

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