Various groups in the national and local level lauds congress for approving the RH bill in the committee on rules at the house of the representative. Dr. Eden Divinagracia, executive director of the Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare Inc. (PNGOC) welcome this development and sees this as a great opportunity to finally tackle the RH bill at the plenary level.
PNGOC is a national umbrella organization with 95 member national and local based NGOs involved in the promotion of reproductive health care such as maternal and child health, family planning, men’s reproductive health, women empowerment, STI/HIV/AIDS, sexuality education, reproductive and sexual health and gender and development and is proudly advocating for the passage of the consolidated version of Reproductive Health Bills now House Bill 4244 titled “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2011”.
“I am truly excited to attend and listen to the plenary sponsorship which will happen on March 1, 2011; The RH bill has been long overdue, it has been more than 10 years, the Filipino people is the one who is truly affected having no national policy on RH.” said by Dr. Divinagracia.
“For every day we waste deliberating on this issue, 11 women dies every twenty-four hours due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications thus making the Philippines one of the highest Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Asia. These deaths can be avoided if more Filipino women have access to reproductive health information and health care. The Philippines also has more than 60% of pregnancies classified as high-risk (2003 National Demographic and Health Survey). Based on the Family Planning Survey of 2006, 2.6 million Filipino women would like to plan their families but lack information and access to do so.” added by Dr. Divinagracia.
PNGOC will watch attentively to the deliberations in congress and will give its full support to all the authors of the bill. PNGOC believes that the bill can help millions of Filipino people. PNGOC believes that each couple has the right and responsibility to control conception according to their personal circumstances. They are, in our view, free to use any means of birth control considered medically safe and acceptable. We believe that the RP-RH bill can provide adequate accessibility to comprehensive health care and nutrition to help ensure a healthy family and thus gives every Filipino respect and self-determination by ensuring that there is an enabling environment where Filipino can make their own informed decision on how to raise their own family, without coercion or fear. The bill will enable every individual and couples the right whether or not they want to have children, how many children they will have and the space between their births through an effective reproductive health program.
Lastly, Dr. Divinagracia shared that “PNGOC will continue to promote to all its networks of NGOs, partner organizations and communities nationwide to support for the passage of the Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2011.” -30-Dr. Eden Divinagracia, Executive Director, PNGOC