January 20, 2018, 5:03 pm
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Rody finally gets going on repro health

PRESIDENT Duterte has issued Executive Order No. 12 aimed to ensure the full implementation of the Reproductive Health law.

Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said the EO, signed on January 9, provides women of reproductive age, especially from the poor sector, the chance to decide the right family size and number of children and at the same time provide her access to “modern family planning” methods.

The EO is titled “Attaining and Sustaining Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning Through the Strict Implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.”

Commission on Population (POPCOM) executive director Dr. Juan Antonio Perez said the order would not violate the temporary restraining order that had been issued by the Supreme Court on the implementation of the RH law.

Perez added the EO also covers certain forms of contraceptives like subdermal implant. 

Pernia said the government is hopeful that with the issuance of the EO, the Supreme Court will   lift the TRO.

Under the EO local governments are provided a chance to get around with the TRO by allowing non-governmental organizations to implement the RH Law since the private sector is not covered by the ruling.

The EO directs the Department of Health, Commission on Population, Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and other relevant government agencies to collaborate with all local government units (LGUs) for the implementation of the RH Law.

It seeks to tap community volunteers to help map areas and locate couples with “unmet need for modern family planning” and collaborate with private groups or NGOs in attaining a “zero unmet need for family planning” goal for each localities.

“So there is a plan, in the next six months for local governments to go out in the field, to do house-to-house visits, identify those in need of family planning, working with all these agencies,” Perez said.

The EO also directed the Department of Education to implement a “gender-sensitive” and “rights-based” comprehensive sexuality education in the school curriculum, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development to integrate RH Law strategies in the national poverty reduction and social protection programs.

It also instructed the DILG to monitor the LGU’s compliance with the RH Law.

Perez said the Duterte government hopes to support at least two million women in the poorest sector and enable them to get family planning services and to reach at least six million women by the end of the Duterte administration.

He added that government is hoping to reduce growth rate to at least 1.4 million per year, from an average of 1.7 million a year.

He said latest projections of the Philippine Statistical Authority shows that the population will grow by 1.6 million in 2017.
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