Duterte signs family planning EO

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PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte has issued an executive order (EO) to “accelerate” the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RP/RH) law to ensure “zero unmet need” for contraception and reduce poverty, a senior Cabinet official announced on Wednesday.

EO 12, signed by the President on January 9, allows the government to find couples and individuals who want “modern family planning,” put up local structures that will generate demand and referrals, and integrate RP/RH strategies into social protection and family planning programs.

Speaking to reporters in Malacañang, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia said EO 12 mandates universal access to modern family planning tools.

“Meaning that all women of reproductive ages should be able to achieve their desired family size, their desired number of children, rather than having more children than they want or they can afford and provide for adequately, and that is exactly the essence of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law,” said Pernia, who is also the director general of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA).


THE PLAN Advocates of awareness programs for HIV and AIDS display condoms during the launch of the National HIV Strategic Plan for the MSM and Transgender Population in a news conference in Quezon City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

THE PLAN Advocates of awareness programs for HIV and AIDS display condoms during the launch of the National HIV Strategic Plan for the MSM and Transgender Population in a news conference in Quezon City. PHOTO BY MIKE DE JUAN

The government wants to bring down the poverty rate to 14 percent of the population by the end of the Duterte administration from 21.6 percent in 2015, Pernia said.

“The EO is really for modern family planning services, modern contraceptives to be adopted by women of reproductive age, in order for them to achieve their desired number of children,” he said.

“If we don’t implement the RP/RH law fully, then we are going to be unable to meet our poverty reduction target,” he added.

Universal access

Pernia also cited maternal death statistics, which he placed at 231 deaths per 100,000 live births.

“So the RP/RH Law is not just to enable families to achieve their desired number of children but also to prevent or to lower maternal mortality rates as well as teenage pregnancies,” Pernia said.

“Teenage pregnancies have been rising. In other countries, teenage pregnancies are diminishing but in the Philippines, it’s rising. So there are many objectives that can be achieved by implementing the RP/RH Law having to do with life: life of the mother, health of the mother, the health of teenagers as well as you know, births that are wanted,” he said.

The RP/RH Law, or Republic Act 10354, aims to guarantee universal access to methods of contraception, fertility control, sexual education and maternal care.

The Supreme Court delayed the implementation of the law in March 2013 following opposition from pro-life groups. It ruled in April 2014 that the law was “not unconstitutional.”

In June 2015, the court issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) barring the Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from “granting any and all pending applications for registration and/or recertification for reproductive products and supplies including contraceptive drugs and devices,” as well as “procuring, selling, distributing, dispensing or administering, advertising and promoting the hormonal contraceptive ‘Implanon’ and ‘Implanon NXT.’”

The group Alliance for the Family Foundation Philippines, Inc. had questioned the process of certifying contraceptives, claiming there was no due process.

‘So-called pro-life’

Pernia said the government expected the court to lift the temporary restraining order.

“Important provisions of the RP/RH law have been stymied by the issuance of a TRO by the Supreme Court and the TRO was issued on the petition of so-called pro-life groups… They keep saying that contraception or family planning or the reproductive health law is abortifacient, it’s anti-life. But, of course, we in the government, we think differently, just the opposite. We feel that it is pro-life, pro-women, pro-children, and pro-economic development,” he said.

“But with this EO from the President, we hope that the Supreme Court will act expeditiously in terms of lifting the TRO,” the NEDA chief added.

The EO, which was put into immediate effect, tasked the Department of Health, Commission on Population, Department of the Interior and Local Government and other relevant government agencies to collaborate with all local government units for the implementation of the RP/RH Law.

It also directed the Department of Education to implement a “gender-sensitive” and “rights-based” comprehensive sexuality education in the school curriculum.

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8 Comments

  1. Nasa tao na yan. Kung akala mong hindi mo kayang mag-anak ng maraming at tustusan sila ng taman edukasyon/tirahan/pagkain etc. eh di ayan me mga paraan. Pero kung wala ka namang inisip kundi puro parasap, eh di sige rin magpakarami ka. Kaya lang me domino effect yan. Tanong, meron na ba kayong nakitang mag-asawang pinoy na nakatira sa singapore o kahit sa ibang maunlad na bansa na may anak na 6 pataas? Pinakamataas na nakita ko eh 4, kadalasan 2 lang. Again tanong, BAKET? Kasi mahirap mag-anak ng marami duon, walang kapitbahay o mga magulang o pinsan o kaibigan o kapitbahay na pwedeng pag-iwanan ng anak dahil halos lahat eh busy at nagtatrabaho. Dahil responsibilidad nilang tugunan ng maayos ang mga pangangailangan ng mga anak nila.

    Sa ngayon, karamihan sa mga middle income family sa atin, ang anak ay hanggang 3 lang dahil mahirap ngang magtaguyod. Kahit nga mga mayayaman sa ngayon eh di rin karamihan ang mga anak. Kaya sabi ko nga, nasa tao na yan kung papano didiskartehan ang pagpapamilya. Ngayon kung talagang balahura ka at walang pakialam sa hinaharap ng mga magiging anak mo, o di sige, tira lang tira.

  2. to KSMOM and Nicky Lee, does it ever occur to you guys that people needs to be educated? We Filipinos need to stop asking our government to do all the things that needs to be done. Did we ever stop and educate them on how to be a responsible parent or are we just as I said letting the government do everything. There was a news footage from BBC showing two married couples with office jobs, but with 8 children living in the squatter area. When they were asked if they ever used contraceptive they said yes, but they said since its not often used that is where the family planning stops.
    Do you know that WHO (world heath org) classified birth control pills as carcinogen meaning they cause cancer? So it will be like the ends justify the means, but in the end the women gets cancer, I don’t see the logic in that. Also, a woman that uses birth control pills deplete a woman’s body’s supply of B vitamins, particularly vitamin B9, or folic acid. B vitamins are necessary for stress management, optimal memory function, healthy heart function, and overall longevity and wellness. Birth control pills also inhibit the midcycle testosterone surge, which can lower libido significantly, so where is the fun in that. The pills can also be transmitted to the child in the womb that when they are born they might have already cancer cells, and from reading the news there are more Filipino children that have cancer, which was almost non existent when I was growing up. Autism is also related to birth control pills.

    Just somethings to think about.

  3. about time this is done! the only president who has the balls to do this despite the threats and opposition from the catholic church, including the opus dei. kudos to the president. now the people can truly and freely decide for themselves the number of children they wish to have. this truly is a sensible government with the will to help the people.

  4. Yesss! Finally, a president with balls. It is about time this issue is settled and the DOH be allowed to implement the RP/RH law. The pro-lifers need to face the truth because irresponsible parenting can lead to child or maternal deaths which is not really a pro-life scenario.

  5. mabait ako talaga on

    The government is giving out contraceptives in order to bring down the poverty rate to 14 percent (from 21.6 percent) at the end of Duterte administration? It seems to me that contraceptives are poverty reduction tools, and these fools think that they can meet their objectives (reduced the poverty level) in a very sexually active society by using contraceptives every time they are engaged in sexual activities. Secondly, these people think that population is causing poverty, not corruption. Ako’y nalilibugan man! I mean I am confused!

  6. just like any other Liberals in the world, they keep on drumming same old song “use contraceptive to alleviate poverty”. How about stop the corruption and be a moral politician and moral citizen, and be good to each other. Russia, & China now are telling their citizen to procreate; China just reversed their one child policy, because there is a big gap between the old and the young.
    So the problem is not population.

    • China and Russia have strong economies and need people to fill the jobs, you don’t! You have to go overseas, be lucky enough to have a relative who can fix you up with a job or live in poverty!
      What’s new about this anyway? I was married here in 1995 and part of the requirements before being allowed to be married was both partners had to attend ” family planning seminars” and have this certified prior to obtaining a marriage license.

    • Andrew, you are very mistaken about Russia and China’s economy. Russia’s only business is oil which they have a lot, but the prices of crude oil has been falling drastically in the world market that’s why if you’ve been to Russia like I have, its no Disneyland, there’s a lot of people that are out of work.

      China on the other hand is like a leech, if the US with Donald Trump’s leadership stops buying stuff from China, their economy will tank. China is so debted to the US buying cheap products. If you look at China, they are trying to go to negotiate with other countries to buy their products that if you analyze why does the Philippines need to buy garlic, rice and other perishable items that the Philippines have. Granted that we don’t manufacture electronic products, but most of those products are all American ingenuity meaning if America stops buying it from China and moves the manufacturing back to the US to make them, China can’t make them anymore, but if they do make them without the acknowledgement of the Americans, then the US will slap them of copy right infringement. If China persist, as President Donald Trump said before, he will asses the world and ask them who will be for them and who is against them.
      If you really think that China’s economy is good, why is then that China is stopping the foreign investor to leave China, it been happening since Trump won the election, before that China is manipulating their currency(until now) because if a country is economical sound then the currency should go up, if it goes up so will the products that they sell, but why is it still cheap?

      Just somethings to think about.