The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RA 10354) gave hope to Filipino women to have safe and planned pregnancies. Childbirth complications that have killed tens of thousands of mothers would be prevented, and women’s lives, saved. Planned pregnancies would enable couples to achieve their desired number of children, and young people to escape the perils of teen-age pregnancy.
Abject poverty has oppressed generations. This is significantly because parents are unable to care and provide for their many children the education and other opportunities necessary to advance in life. The RPRH law gave poor families hope that their dream of a better future can be achieved. These hopes can only be realized if government fully and efficiently implements a comprehensive family planning program as mandated by law.
People rejoiced when the Supreme Court declared RPRH law as constitutional. Government prepared for its full implementation, and purchased needed family planning supplies. However, the SC issued a TRO preventing the Department of Health and its agencies from going full blast on its family planning program. This TRO is based on a petition alleging that all contraceptives are abortifacient, and aimed at having these vital commodities totally banned from the market.
This TRO affects 13.4 million Filipino women. These are the6.1 million presently using contraceptives, and the 7.3 million more who have unmet need for family planning.
Because of this TRO, no new registration for contraceptives can be approved, and when approved, they can be appealed. New legal cases will ensue and delays will continue. Stocks will run out and contraceptives will no longer be available in the market. Even those with money to buy will not anymore have access to these vital commodities.
A total ban on contraceptives will happen.
Because of this TRO, our teen-pregnancy rates, already one of the worst in the world, will further worsen. The future of more of our young people will be jeopardized. For 2016, an estimated 281,170 teen-aged girls will get pregnant. The numbers will soar even higher without contraceptives.
Because of this TRO, more women will die due to preventable pregnancy and child-birth related complications. For this year alone, around 5,042 Filipinas will perish in giving life. This is equivalent to 14 women dying per day. Without contraceptives, more children will be orphaned as more mothers pass away.
Thus, LIFT THE TRO NOW!
SIGN IN AND SAVE LIVES! Go to your nearest municipal, city, provincial or regional POPCOM office.
- Category: RP-FP
January 9, 2017—President Rodrigo Duterte has signed the Executive Order (EO) No. 12 on Attaining and Sustaining “Zero Unmet Need for Family Planning” through the strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act. This long fought full implementation of the law has been the battle cry of the Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Population (POPCOM) and the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) for the longest years.
With the signing of the EO, all mechanisms and strategies for the attainment of a full range access for modern family planning (FP) methods will be intensified and accelerated especially among the poor households by 2018, more if the Implant’s TRO (a subdermal family planning contraceptive) will also be lifted by the Supreme Court.
- Category: RP-FP
OCTOBER 10, 2016
The struggle for the full and unrestrained implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012 (RA 10354) has reached a crucial level today as the Department of Health contests the recent Supreme Court decision of August 24, 2016 by filing a motion for reconsideration before the highest court. The SC decision, if uncontested, could put to a halt the most effective methods of the Family Planning program which is being implemented by the DOH and the Commission on Population (POPCOM) through local government units and civil society nationwide and lead to increased mortality and morbidity among women and infants.
“If carried out, the SC decision could result in over 900 additional maternal deaths every year arising from almost 1 million unintended pregnancies that could have been addressed by the full implementation of the Family Planning Program,” POPCOM Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III asserted. “This would mean a 30% rise in maternal deaths in the country,” Dr Perez said.
Although the RH Law was passed in 2012 and its IRR approved in March 2013, there have been restraints through TROs on its implementation for 28 months in the last 3 and a half years.
President Rodrigo Duterte called for the full implementation of the law in his SONA as late as last July. The DOH’s National Implementation Team (NIT) for the RH Law headed by former Secretary Esperanza Cabral had recommended an Executive Order that would accelerate the implementation of the law through community-based, house to house campaigns to reach out to the 4 million women and men who wanted to avail of the program.
“Those who opposed the law in the legislative arena are now trying to reverse the judgment of history through backdoor judicial dilatory tactics, but the millions of Filipinos who stand to benefit from the law will surely bring all of this to an end. The inevitable deaths of hundreds of women and unborn infants will surely haunt those who want to undo an essential public health program,” Dr. Perez stated.
The Commission on Population has headed the Secretariat of the RH Law National Implementation Team (NIT) since January, 2015. In its annual reports, the NIT has noted the steady progress of the law’s implementation as the number of women and men using modern family planning methods have increased from 38% in 2013 to 43% in 2015. However, the TRO on the popular progesterone subdermal implant (PSI) since June 2015 has hampered the further expansion of the family planning program.
The Supreme Court has also stopped the re-registration of current contraceptive methods approved by the Food and Drug Authority (FDA) since June, 2015. This has led to the withdrawal from the market (and family planning program) of 14 out of 48 registered contraceptives in the country. New contraceptives are also effectively barred by the SC TRO.
“By the end of 2017, more than half of the contraceptives will lose their registration and Filipino consumers will be faced with more expensive products while the government will also be limited in the choice of methods to procure. This is certainly a far cry from the expectations of the people in 2012 when the law was approved by the people’s legislators,” Dr. Perez stressed.
The Commission on Population called on the Supreme Court to reverse its decision and lift the TRO and allow the unrestrained implementation of RA 10354.
- Category: RP-FP
San Fernando City, La Union—The Regional Population Office initiated a birthday celebration of the regional 100 millionth babies on July 26, 2016, a day before their actual birthday, at the ABC Hall in the city. There were 5 of them from the provinces and the city, who were considered symbolic hopes for better quality life.
POPCOM, together with the Department of Health (DOH), National Nutrition Council (NNC), Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center (ITRMC) and other stakeholders mark every milestone of these babies’ lives through their renewal of commitments and pledge of continuous support in ensuring their healthy, safe and productive well-being as they grow up in a challenging, populous environment.
This endeavor of the Commission on Population upholds the rights of every Pinoy to be counted in the local and national development despite the more than a hundred million population of the country. (MFM)
- Category: RP-FP