Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare Inc.

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Manifesto of Support for the RP-RH Bill

Press Room

Declaration of Support to the Responsible Parenthood-
Reproductive Health Bill (HB4244)

We from the government, civil society, media and interfaith groups strongly support the passage of a firm national policy on Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health for the following reasons:

Maternal mortality rates in this country remain a pressing concern. Eleven mothers die of child birth and pregnancy complications every day, while seven out of ten infant deaths occur at child birth or within a day of delivery.

Poorest women remain marginalized. Data from the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) indicates that women in the lowest income quintile tend to have not only the highest number of children but also the greatest difficulty in accessing reproductive health (RH) and family planning services.

RH is not only about women’s rights, but about human rights in general. The right to plan one’s family is a fundamental and indispensable human right and parents should be entitled to freely and responsibly determine the number and spacing of their own children.

Overpopulation. Our population has burgeoned to the point of leading to significant scarcity, deprivation and environmental degradation. This reality can only worsen over time, particularly if reproductive health is not treated as an urgent national priority.

The heart of the Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health bill is about informed choice. Should a couple decide that they want to plan and space their children, they should be provided with relevant, evidence-based and timely information and services on family planning options that are legal, effective and medically safe. Ultimately, this is saving human lives. Neither, the state nor the Church should dictate which family planning method/s a given family chooses to adopt.

Inclusiveness for a better Philippines. The state is mandated by the Constitution to provide the Filipino people with a comprehensive and accessible health care program. The constitution further prohibits any discrimination on religious grounds. We therefore recommend that the government take the lead in crafting and implementing a health-care policy that eschews all forms of religious, cultural and gender bias, and therefore contributes to building a more inclusive Philippines.

We further recommend that the national government allocate annual budget to address the above concerns.


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