Lost innocence: Muslim child brides and US sex education for children

In this post, I shall talk about two things: Muslim child brides in the Muslim East and US sex education for children in the Secular West–an education not only in schools, but also in movies and TV shows.  And lastly, I shall propose the Catholic remedy by discussing the 6th and 9th Commandments, together with the virtues of modesty and purity.

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit.

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30% ‘sin tax’ for condoms and contraceptive pills?

Here’s the latest data on the Philippine HIV rates from the National Epidemiology Center of the Department of Health:

The 388 new HIV cases recorded in April were 67 percent higher compared to the 233 recorded during the same month in 2012… the April cases – 368 males and 20 females – have a median age of 28 years, with those in the 20 to 29 age group comprising 61 percent.  Except for 32 drug users who were infected due to needle sharing, all new cases acquired the virus through sexual contact, with male-to-male sex accounting for 81 percent.

The Philippine Reproductive Health Law seeks to prevent HIV rise and other sexually transmitted diseases (Sec IV. Definition of Terms, letter q, no. 5).  So how would the RH law do it? The RH Law would target families, especially the women, by promoting the use of contraceptive pills and condoms.  But nowhere does the RH law talks about homosexuals, and males having sex with males (MSM) account for 80 percent of the new HIV cases!  HIV is a real reproductive health disease and not some fuzzy add-on to the definition of reproductive health such as “”mental and social well-being” and “safe, consensual and satisfying sex life”–things that cannot be measured precisely, unless the government would require women to undergo psychological exams during their menstrual periods and require them also to make a logbook of the times they had intercourse, name of their partners, contraceptives used, and satisfaction rating in a 0 to 100 scale–and these data would be sent to the Office for Safe and Satisfying Sex which would be under either the DOH or the Office of Sen. Pia Cayetano.  Indeed, sex would then be more fun in the Philippines.

That’s why I believe that the RH Law is not really about women’s reproductive health but population control by promotion of promiscuity, with the Philippine government-ensured promise of safe sex.  If the government is intent on stopping HIV rise, the answer is not giving condoms for free to gays and their boy toys, but to educate them on the risks of the homosexual act.  It is ironic that the government increases “sin taxes” on liquor and cigarettes, claiming that these are bad for your health, while on the other hand saying nothing about MSM, fornication, and adultery which are not only bad for the sexual health (you can get HIV or AIDS), but also bad according to the RH Law’s all-encompassing definition of reproductive health:

(p) Reproductive Health (RH) refers to the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. This further implies that women and men attain equal relationships in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction.

The reason for this is that MSM, fornication, and adultery destroys the family, which is the bedrock of our country. These are mental and social ills–things that should not be promoted with government funding but rather should be discouraged and disapproved through additional taxes and forbidding their advertisements in TVs, radios, train stations, movie houses, billboards, and other public places.  In this task, the government would have a major ally: the Catholic Church.

MSM is bad for the health, just like liquor, cigarettes, and chemical contraceptives. That is why condoms for MSM and contraceptive pills for women should have health warnings, such as the following:

“Condoms do not prevent the spread of HIV and 80% of males having sex with males acquire HIV.  Use this condom at your own risk  Note that a used condom is a medical waste.  These should be placed in sealed plastic bags and given to authorized government health personnel for proper disposal.  Note that each purchase of a condom pack already includes a sin tax of 30 percent.  This is for the proper disposal of your used condoms.  Unauthorized disposal of medical waste will be prosecuted accordingly.”

“This contraceptive pill has many side effects like head-aches and irregular monthly cycles.  At worse, you can’t have a baby again.  Use at your own risk.  Note that a sin tax of 30% was included in your purchase of the contraceptive pill.  This is for the cleaning of the environmental pollution of our creeks and rivers where your chemical-rich urine will go which can potentially make fishes gay and unable to reproduce.”

If the government would not buy condoms and pills, then the Church has no problem with the RH Law.  Let those who need them buy them with their own money and at their own risk with an additional 30% tax, instead of taxing Catholics who cannot use condoms and pills in good conscience.  In this way, the RH Law would not need any budget, because it would be able to earn its funding from the 30 % sin taxes for condoms and pills.  And oh, haven’t I yet mentioned about giving another 30% additional importation tarriff for condoms and pills? Thus, let us pass the RH Law and give it a Php 1 budget.

CBCP Pastoral Letter: Choosing life, rejecting the RH Bill

(A Pastoral Letter of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines)

Our Filipino Brothers and Sisters:

The State values the dignity of every human person and guarantees full respect for human rights (Art. II, Section 11). The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception (Art. II, Section 12).

Background
We begin by citing the Philippine Constitution. We do so because we intend to write you on the basis of the fundamental ideals and aspirations of the Filipino people and not on the basis of specifically Catholic religious teachings.

We are at a crossroads as a nation. Before us are several versions of a proposed bill, the Reproductive Health bill or sanitized as a Responsible Parenthood bill. This proposed bill in all its versions calls us to make a moral choice: to choose life or to choose death.

At the outset we thank the government for affording us an opportunity to express our views in friendly dialogue. Sadly our dialogue has simply revealed how far apart our respective positions are. Therefore, instead of building false hopes, we wish at the present time to draw up clearly what we object to and what we stand for.

Moral Choices at the Crossroads — at EDSA I and Now

Twenty five years ago in 1986 we Catholic Bishops made a prophetic moral judgment on political leadership. With this prophetic declaration we believe that we somehow significantly helped open the door for EDSA I and a window of political integrity.

Today we come to a new national crossroads and we now have to make a similar moral choice. Our President rallied the country with the election cry, “Kung walang corrupt walang mahirap.” As religious leaders we believe that there is a greater form of corruption, namely, moral corruption which is really the root of all corruption. On the present issue, it would be morally corrupt to disregard the moral implications of the RH bill.

This is our unanimous collective moral judgment: We strongly reject the RH bill.

Commonly Shared Human and Cultural Values – Two Fundamental Principles

Far from being simply a Catholic issue, the RH bill is a major attack on authentic human values and on Filipino cultural values regarding human life that all of us have cherished since time immemorial.

Simply stated the RH Bill does not respect moral sense that is central to Filipino cultures. It is the product of the spirit of this world, a secularist, materialistic spirit that considers morality as a set of teachings from which one can choose, according to the spirit of the age. Some it accepts, others it does not accept. Unfortunately, we see the subtle spread of this post-modern spirit in our own Filipino society.

Our position stands firmly on two of the core principles commonly shared by all who believe in God:

(1) Human life is the most sacred physical gift with which God, the author of life, endows a human being. Placing artificial obstacles to prevent human life from being formed and being born most certainly contradicts this fundamental truth of human life. In the light of the widespread influence of the post-modern spirit in our world, we consider this position as nothing less than prophetic. As religious leaders we must proclaim this truth fearlessly in season and out of season.

(2) It is parents, cooperating with God, who bring children into the world. It is also they who have the primary inalienable right and responsibility to nurture them, care for them, and educate them that they might grow as mature persons according to the will of the Creator.

What We Specifically Object to in the RH Bill

Advocates contend that the RH bill promotes reproductive health. The RH Bill certainly does not. It does not protect the health of the sacred human life that is being formed or born. The very name “contraceptive” already reveals the anti-life nature of the means that the RH bill promotes. These artificial means are fatal to human life, either preventing it from fruition or actually destroying it. Moreover, scientists have known for a long time that contraceptives may cause cancer. Contraceptives are hazardous to a woman’s health.

Advocates also say that the RH bill will reduce abortion rates. But many scientific analysts themselves wonder why prevalent contraceptive use sometimes raises the abortion rate. In truth, contraceptives provide a false sense of security that takes away the inhibition to sexual activity. Scientists have noted numerous cases of contraceptive failure. Abortion is resorted to, an act that all religious traditions would judge as sinful. “Safe sex” to diminish abortion rate is false propaganda.

Advocates moreover say that the RH bill will prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. This goes against the grain of many available scientific data. In some countries where condom use is prevalent, HIV/ AIDS continues to spread. Condoms provide a false security that strongly entices individuals towards increased sexual activity, increasing likewise the incidence of HIV/AIDS. “Safe sex” to prevent HIV /AIDS is false propaganda.

Advocates also assert that the RH Bill empowers women with ownership of their own bodies. This is in line with the post-modern spirit declaring that women have power over their own bodies without the dictation of any religion. How misguided this so-called “new truth” is! For, indeed, as created by God our bodies are given to us to keep and nourish. We are stewards of our own bodies and we must follow God’s will on this matter according to an informed and right conscience. Such a conscience must certainly be enlightened and guided by religious and moral teachings provided by various religious and cultural traditions regarding the fundamental dignity and worth of human life.

Advocates also say that the RH bill is necessary to stop overpopulation and to escape from poverty. Our own government statistical office has concluded that there is no overpopulation in the Philippines but only the over-concentration of population in a number of urban centers. Despite other findings to the contrary, we must also consider the findings of a significant group of renowned economic scholars, including economic Nobel laureates, who have found no direct correlation between population and poverty. In fact, many Filipino scholars have concluded that population is not the cause of our poverty. The causes of our poverty are: flawed philosophies of development, misguided economic policies, greed, corruption, social inequities, lack of access to education, poor economic and social services, poor infrastructures, etc. World organizations estimate that in our country more than P400 billion pesos are lost yearly to corruption. The conclusion is unavoidable: for our country to escape from poverty, we have to address the real causes of poverty and not population.

In the light of the above, we express our clear objections:

1. We object to the non-consideration of moral principles, the bedrock of law, in legislative discussions of bills that are intended for the good of individuals and for the common good.

2. We are against the anti-life, anti-natal and contraceptive mentality that is reflected in media and in some proposed legislative bills.
3. We object strongly to efforts at railroading the passage of the RH bill.

4. We denounce the over-all trajectory of the RH bill towards population control.

5. We denounce the use of public funds for contraceptives and sterilization.

6. We condemn compulsory sex education that would effectively let parents abdicate their primary role of educating their own children, especially in an area of life – sexuality – which is a sacred gift of God.

What We Stand For

On this matter of proposed RH bills, these are our firm convictions:

1. We are deeply concerned about the plight of the many poor, especially of suffering women, who are struggling for a better life and who must seek it outside of our country, or have recourse to a livelihood less than decent.

2. We are pro-life. We must defend human life from the moment of conception or fertilization up to its natural end.

3. We believe in the responsible and natural regulation of births through Natural Family Planning for which character building is necessary which involves sacrifice, discipline and respect for the dignity of the spouse.

4. We believe that we are only stewards of our own bodies. Responsibility over our own bodies must follow the will of God who speaks to us through conscience.

5. We hold that on the choices related to the RH bill, conscience must not only be informed but most of all rightly guided through the teachings of one’s faith.

6. We believe in the freedom of religion and the right of conscientious objection in matters that are contrary to one’s faith. The sanctions and penalties embodied in the proposed RH bill are one more reason for us to denounce it.

Our Calls

As religious leaders we have deeply and prayerfully reflected on this burning issue. We have unanimously made the moral judgment – to reject the RH agenda and to choose life.

1. We call for a fundamental transformation of our attitudes and behavior towards all human life especially the most defenseless, namely, human life being formed or being conceived. The cheapness with which many seem to consider human life is a great bane to our religious-oriented nation.

2. We call upon our legislators to consider the RH bill in the light of the God-given dignity and worth of human life and, therefore, to shelve it completely as contrary to our ideals and aspirations as a people. We thank our legislators who have filed bills to defend human life from the moment of conception and call upon all other legislators to join their ranks.

3. We thank the great multitude of lay people all over the country, and particularly the dedicated groups who made their presence felt in the halls of Congress, to defend and promote our position. We call upon other lay people and adherents of other religions to join the advocacy to defend and promote our commonly shared ideals and aspirations.

4. We call on our government to address effectively the real causes of poverty such as corruption, lack of social and economic services, lack of access to education and the benefits of development, social inequities.

5. We call for the establishment of more hospitals and clinics in the rural areas, the deployment of more health personnel to provide more access to health services, the building of more schools, the provision of more aid to the poor for education, and the building of more and better infrastructures necessary for development.

6. We echo the challenge we prophetically uttered 25 years ago at EDSA I and call upon all people of good will who share our conviction: “…let us pray together, reason together, decide together, act together, always to the end that the truth prevail” over the many threats to human life and to our shared human and cultural values.

We commend our efforts against the RH bill (or the Responsible Parenthood bill – its new name) to the blessing of our almighty and loving God, from whom all life comes and for whom it is destined.

For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

+NEREO P. ODCHIMAR, D.D.
Bishop of Tandag
President, CBCP
January 30, 2011

Comparison of Reproductive Health Bills 5043 and 96 with annotations by Fr. Melvin Castro

Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Quezon City, Metro Manila

FOURTEENTH CONGRESS

FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO 5043

Republic of the Philippines

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

Quezon City, Metro Manila

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS

FIRST REGULAR SESSION

HOUSE BILL NO. 96

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008“. SECTION. 1. Title. – This Act shall be known as the “The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010.”
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. – The State upholds and promotes responsible parenthood, informed choice, birth spacing and respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.

The State shall uphold the right of the people, particularly women and their organizations, to effective and reasonable participation in the formulation and implementation of the declared policy.

This policy is anchored on the rationale that sustainable human development is better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens.

The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors.

SEC. 2. – Declaration of Policy.- The State recognizes and guarantees the exercise of the universal basic human right to reproductive health by all persons, particularly of parents, couples and women, consistent with their religious convictions, cultural beliefs and the demands of responsible parenthood.

Moreover, the State recognizes and guarantees the promotion of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment as a health and human rights concern. The advancement and protection of women’s human rights shall be central to the efforts of the State to address reproductive health care. As a distinct but inseparable measure to the guarantee of women’s human rights, the State recognizes and guarantees the promotion of the welfare and rights of children.

The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information and education thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors.

The State shall address and seek to eradicate discriminatory practices, laws and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights.

This is dangerous policy.  Centered only on repro health as a policy and all CEDAW agenda.
SEC. 3. Guiding Principles. – This Act declares the following as basic guiding principles:

a. In the promotion of reproductive health, there should be no bias for either modern or natural methods of family planning;

b. Reproductive health goes beyond a demographic target because it is principally about health and rights;

c. Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements of reproductive health and population development;

d. Since manpower is the principal asset of every country, effective reproductive health care services must be given primacy to ensure the birth and care of healthy children and to promote responsible parenting;

e. The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to, be spread so thinly to service a burgeoning multitude that makes the allocations grossly inadequate and effectively meaningless;

f. Freedom of informed choice, which is central to the exercise of any right, must be fully guaranteed by the State like the right itself;

g. While the number and spacing of children are left to the sound judgment of parents and couples based on their personal conviction and religious beliefs, such concerned parents and couples, including unmarried individuals, should be afforded free and full access to relevant, adequate and correct information on reproductive health and human sexuality and should be guided by qualified State workers and professional private practitioners;

h. Reproductive health, including the promotion of breastfeeding, must be the joint concern of the National Government and Local Government Units(LGUs);

i. Protection and promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and human rights, including reproductive health rights, are imperative;

j. Development is a multi-faceted process that calls for the coordination and integration of policies, plans, programs and projects that seek to uplift the quality of life of the people, more particularly the poor, the needy and the marginalized;

k. Active participation by and thorough consultation with concerned non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs) and communities are imperative to ensure that basic policies, plans, programs and projects address the priority needs of stakeholders;

l. Respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights seek to promote not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but those of adolescents’ and children’s as well; and

m. While nothing in this Act changes the law on abortion, as abortion remains a crime and is punishable, the government shall ensure that women seeking care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.

SEC. 3. Guiding Principles. – This Act declares the following as guiding principles:

a. The right to make free and informed decisions, which is central to the exercise of any right shall not be subjected to any form of restraint or coercion,  and free exercise must be fully guaranteed by the State like the right itself.

b. Respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health and rights seek to promote not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but those of adolescents and children as well.

c. Since human resource is a principal asset of the country, effective reproductive health care services must be given primacy to ensure maternal health, birth of healthy children and their full human development and responsible parenting.

d. The provision of accessible, affordable and effective reproductive health care services is essential in the promotion of people’s right to health.

e. The State shall promote, without bias, all modern natural and artificial methods of family planning that are medically safe, legal and effective.

f. The State shall promote a program that: (1) enables individuals and couples to have the number of children they desire with due consideration to the health of women and resources available to them; (2) achieves equitable allocation and utilization of resources; (3) ensures effective partnership among the national government, local government units and the private sector in the design, implementation, coordination, integration, monitoring and evaluation of people-centered programs to enhance quality of life and environmental protection; and (4) conducts studies to analyze demographic trends towards sustainable human development.

g. The provision of reproductive health care and information shall be the joint responsibility of the National Government and Local Government Units.

h. Active participation by non-government, women’s, people’s, civil society organizations and communities is crucial to ensure that reproductive health and population and development policies, plans, and programs will address the priority needs of the poor, especially women.

i. While nothing in this Act changes the law against abortion, the government shall ensure that all women needing care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.

j. Reproductive health goes beyond a demographic target because it is principally about health and rights.

k. Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements of reproductive health and population and development.

l. The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to be spread so thinly to service a burgeoning multitude that makes the allocations grossly inadequate and effectively meaningless.

Again, this reinforces the thrust on repro health as the main concern of the country giving no regard to other health concerns.

Population control introduced.

Abortion definitely endorsed.

Population control rationalized.

SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

a. Responsible Parenthood – refers to the will, ability and commitment of parents to respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children more particularly through family planning;

b. Family Planning – refers to a program which enables couple, and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to carry out their decisions, and to have informed choice and access to a full range of safe, legal and effective family planning methods, techniques and devices.

c. Reproductive Health -refers to the state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so, provided that these are not against the law. This further implies that women and men are afforded equal status in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction.

d. Reproductive Health Rights – refers to the rights of individuals and couples do decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to carry out their decisions; and to attain the highest standard of sexual and reproductive health.

e. Gender Equality – refers to the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex, in opportunities, allocation of resources and benefits, and access to services.

f. Gender Equity – refers to fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men, and often requires. women-specific projects and programs to eliminate existing inequalities, inequities, policies and practices unfavorable too women.

g. Reproductive Health Care – refers to the availability of and access to a full range of methods, techniques, supplies and services that contribute to reproductive and sexual health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive health-related problems in order to achieve enhancement of life and personal relations. The elements of reproductive health care include:

1. Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition;

2. Promotion of breastfeeding;

3. Family planning information end services;

4. Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications;

5. Adolescent and youth health;

6. Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections (RTIs), HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmittable infections (STIs);

7. Elimination of violence against women;

8. Education and counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health;

9. Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers and other gynecological conditions;

10. Male involvement and participation in reproductive health;,

11. Prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction; and

12. Reproductive health education for the youth.

h. Reproductive Health Education – refers to the process of acquiring complete, accurate and relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive system, its functions and processes and human sexuality; and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy and gender roles. It also includes developing the necessary skills do be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality; and critically evaluate. and discuss the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions of related sensitive issues such as contraception and abortion.

i. Male involvement and participation – refers to the involvement, participation, commitment and joint responsibility of men with women in all areas of sexual and reproductive health, as well as reproductive health concerns specific to men.

j. Reproductive tract infection (RTI) – refers do sexually transmitted infections, sexually transmitted diseases and other types of-infections affecting the reproductive system.

k. Basic Emergency Obstetric Care – refers to lifesaving services for maternal complication being provided by a health facility or professional which must include the following six signal functions: administration of parenteral antibiotics; administration of parrenteral oxyttocic drugs; administration of parenteral anticonvulsants for pre-eclampsia and iampsia; manual removal of placenta; and assisted vaginal delivery.

l. Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care – refers to basic emergency obstetric care plus two other signal functions: performance of caesarean section and blood transfusion.

m. Maternal Death Review – refers to a qualitative and in-depth study of the causes of maternal death with the primary purpose of preventing future deaths through changes or additions to programs, plans and policies.

n. Skilled Attendant – refers to an accredited health professional such as a licensed midwife, doctor or nurse who has adequate proficiency and the skills to manage normal (uncomplicated) pregnancies, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period, and in the identification, management and referral of complication in women and newborns.

o. Skilled Attendance – refers to childbirth managed by a skilled attendant under the enabling conditions of a functional emergencyobstetric care and referral system.

p. Development – refers to a multi-dimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and the eradication of widespread poverty.

q. Sustainable Human Development – refers to the totality of the process of expending human choices by enabling people to enjoy long, healthy and productive lives, affording them access to resources needed for a decent standard of living and assuring continuity and acceleration of development by achieving a balance between and among a manageable population, adequate resources and a healthy environment.

r. Population Development – refers to a program that aims to: (1) help couples and parents achieve their desired family size; (2) improve reproductive health of individuals by addressing reproductive health problems; (3) contribute to decreased maternal and infant mortality rates and early child mortality; (4) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy; and (5) enable government to achieve a balanced population distribution.

SEC. 4. Definition of Terms. – For the purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be defined as follows:

1. Adolescence – refers to a life stage of persons aged 10 to 19.

2. Adolescent Sexuality – refers to, among others, the reproductive system, gender identity, values or beliefs, emotions, relationships and sexual behavior of young people as social beings.

3. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) – refers to a condition characterized by a combination of signs and symptoms, caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) which attacks and weakens the body’s immune system, making the afflicted individual susceptible to other life-threatening infections.

4. Anti-Retroviral Medicines (ARVs) – Antiretroviral drugs are medications for the treatment of infection by retroviruses, primarily HIV.

5. Basic Emergency Obstetric Care – refers to lifesaving services for maternal complications being provided by a health facility or professional, which must include the following six signal functions: administration of parenteral antibiotics; administration of parenteral oxytocic drugs; administration of parenteral anticonvulsants for pre-eclampsia and eclampsia; manual removal of placenta; removal of retained products; and assisted vaginal delivery.

6. Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care – refers to basic emergency obstetric care including performance of caesarian section and blood transfusion.

7. Employer – refers to any natural or juridical person who hires the services of a worker. The term shall not include any labor organization or any of its officers or agents except when acting as an employer.

8. Family Planning – refers to a program which enables couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children, acquire relevant information, and have access to a full range of safe, legal, affordable and effective modern natural and artificial methods of preventing and spacing pregnancy.

9. Gender Equality – refers to the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex, sexual orientation and gender identity in opportunities, allocation of resources or benefits and access to services.

10. Gender Equity – refers to fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men, and often requires women-specific projects and programs to end existing inequalities.

11. Healthcare Service Providers – refers to (a) health care institution, which is duly licensed and accredited and devoted primarily to the maintenance and operation of facilities for health promotion, disease prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and care of individuals suffering from illness, disease, injury, disability or deformity, or in need of obstetrical or other medical and nursing care; ((b) a health care professional, who is a doctor of medicine, nurse, or midwife; (c) public health worker engaged in the delivery of health care services; and (d) barangay health worker who has undergone training programs under any accredited government and non-government organization and who voluntarily renders primarily health care services in the community after having been accredited to function as such by the local health board in accordance with the guidelines promulgated by the Department of Health (DOH).

12. HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) – refers to the virus which causes AIDS.

13. Male Responsibility – refers to the involvement, commitment, accountability, and responsibility of males in relation to women in all areas of sexual and reproductive health as well as the protection and promotion of reproductive health concerns specific to men.

14. Maternal Death Review – refers to a qualitative and in-depth study of the causes of maternal death with the primary purpose of preventing future deaths through changes or additions to programs, plans and policies.

15. Modern Methods of Family Planning – refers to safe, effective and legal methods to prevent pregnancy such as the pill, intra-uterine device (IUD), injectables, condom, ligation, vasectomy, and modern natural family planning methods which include mucus, Billings, ovulation, lactational amenorrhea, basal body temperature, and Standard Days methods.

16. People Living with HIV (PLWH) – refers to individuals whose HIV tests indicate that they are infected with HIV.

17. Population and Development – refers to a program that aims to: (1) help couples and parents achieve their desired family size; (2) improve reproductive health of individuals by addressing reproductive health problems; (3) contribute to decreased maternal and infant mortality rates and early child mortality; (4) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy; (5) enable government to achieve a balanced population distribution; and (6) recognize the linkage between population and sustainable human development.

18. Reproductive Health – refers to the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to enjoy responsible and safe sex, that they have the capability to have children and the freedom to decide if, when and how often to do so. This further implies that women and men attain equal relationships in matters related to sexuality and reproduction.

19. Reproductive Health Care – the access to a full range of methods, techniques, facilities and services that contribute to reproductive health and well-being by preventing and solving reproductive health-related problems. It also includes sexual health, the purpose of which is the enhancement of life and personal relations. The elements of reproductive health care include:

a. maternal, infant and child health and nutrition, including breastfeeding

b. family planning information and services;

c. proscription of abortion and management of abortion complications;

d. adolescent and youth reproductive health;

e. prevention and management of reproductive tract infections (RTIs), HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmittable infections (STIs);

f. elimination of violence against women;

g. education and counseling on sexuality and reproductive health;

h. treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers and other gynecological conditions and disorders;

i. male responsibility and participation in reproductive health;

j. prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction; and

k. reproductive health education for the youth.

20. Reproductive Health Care Program – refers to the systematic and integrated provision of reproductive health care to all citizens especially the poor, marginalized and those in vulnerable situations.

21. Reproductive Health Rights – the rights of individuals and couples to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; to determine the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make allied decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have relevant information; and to attain the highest condition of sexual and reproductive health.

22. Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education – refers to a lifelong learning process of providing and acquiring complete, accurate and relevant information and education on reproductive health and sexuality through life skills education and other approaches.

23. Reproductive Tract Infection (RTI) – refers to sexually transmitted infections, and other types of infections affecting the reproductive system.

24. Responsible Parenthood – refers to the will, ability and commitment of parents to adequately respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children by responsibly and freely exercising their reproductive health rights.

25. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) – refers to any infection that may be acquired or passed on through sexual contact.

26. Skilled Attendant – an accredited health professional – such as a midwife, doctor or nurse – who has been educated and trained to develop proficiency in the skills needed to manage normal (uncomplicated) pregnancies, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period, and in the identification, management and referral of complications in women and newborns; traditional birth attendants or traditional midwives – trained or not – are excluded from this category.

27. Skilled Birth Attendance – childbirth managed by a skilled attendant plus the enabling conditions of necessary equipment and support of a functioning health system, including transport and referral facilities for emergency obstetric care.

28. Sustainable Human Development – refers to bringing people, particularly the poor and vulnerable, to the center of development process, the central purpose of which is the creation of an enabling environment in which all can enjoy long, healthy and productive lives, and done in a manner that promotes their rights and protects the life opportunities of future generations and the natural ecosystem on which all life depends.

What do they mean by manual removal of placenta? Abortion ba ito.

Anti discrimination provision na ito.

-do-

take note, this is the beginning of the entry of abortion clinics

this makes men jointly responsible in the rh effort, e.g. Sterilization or vasectomy

eto na nga ba.

Na introduce na ang mga programa nila

sugar coated pa yung pop control. bottom line ay reduce population pa rin

wow and ganda ng definition. Akala mo para sa kabutihan ng lahat. Bakit di

ba nag eenjoy ngayon ng safe sex. Why the law?

Naka specify na ang entry ng abortion..

sex education na.

Take note. This launches the program nationwide.

Careful sa language. Ginawa ng skills education. Delikado ito.

SEC. 5. The Commission on Population (POPCOM). – Pursuant to the herein declared policy, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) shall serve as the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development. In the implementation of this policy, POPCOM, which shall be an attached agency of the Department of Health (DOH) shall have the following functions:

a. To create an enabling environment for women and couples to make an informed choice regarding the family planning method that is best suited to their needs and personal convictions;

b. To integrate on a continuing basis the interrelated reproductive health and population development agenda into a national policy, taking into account regional and local concerns;

c. To provide the mechanism to ensure active and full participation of the private sector and the citizenry through their organizations in the planning and implementation of reproductive health care and population development programs and projects;

d. To ensure people’s access to medically safe, legal, quality and affordable reproductive health goods and services;

e. To facilitate the involvement and participation of non-government organizations and the private sector in reproductive health care service delivery and in the production, distribution and delivery of quality reproductive: health and family planning supplies and commodities to make them accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens;

f. To fully implement the Reproductive Health Care Program with the following components:

(1) Reproductive health education including but not limited to counseling on the full range of legal and medically-safe family planning methods including surgical methods;

(2) Maternal, pen-natal and post-natal education, care and services;

(3) Promotion of breastfeeding;

(4) Promotion of male involvement, participation and responsibility in reproductive health as well as other reproductive health concerns of men;

(5) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications; and

(6) Provision of information and services addressing the reproductive health needs of the poor, senior citizens, women in prostitution, differently-abled persons, and women and children in war AND crisis situations.

g. To ensure that reproductive health services are delivered with a full range of supplies, facilities and equipment and that service providers are adequately trained for reproductive health care;

h. To endeavor to furnish local Family Planning Offices with appropriate information and resources to keep the latter updated on current studies and research relating to family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition;

i. To direct all public hospitals to make available to indigent mothers who deliver their children in these government hospitals, upon the mothers request, the procedure of ligation without cost to her;

j. To recommend the enactment of legislation and adoption of executive measures that will strengthen and enhance the national policy on reproductive health and population development;

k. To ensure a massive and sustained information drive on responsible parenthood and on all methods and techniques to prevent unwanted, unplanned and mistimed pregnancies, it shall release information bulletins on the same for nationwide circulation to all government departments, agencies and instrumentalities, non-government organizations and the private sector, schools, public and private libraries, tri-media outlets, workplaces, hospitals and concerned health institutions;

l. To strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, high-quality, accessible, and affordable reproductive health services and commodities with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and mechanisms;

m. To take active steps to expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), especially among poor and marginalized women, to include the full range of reproductive health services and supplies as health insurance benefits; and

n. To perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act.

The membership of the Board of Commissioners of POPCOM shall consist of the heads of the following AGENCIES:

1. National Economic DevelopmentAuthority (VEDA)
2. Department of Health (DOH)
3. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
4. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
5. Department of Agriculture (DA)
6. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
7. Department of Education (DepEd)
8. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
9. Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
10. University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI)
11. Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAFI)
12. National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPQ
13. National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW)
14. National Youth Commission (NYC)

In addition to the aforementioned, members, there shall be three private sector representatives to the Board of Commissioners of POPCOM who shall come from NGOs. There shall be one (1) representative each from women, youth and health sectors who have a proven track record of involvement in the promotion of reproductive health. These representatives shall be nominated in a process determined by the above-mentioned sectors, and to be appointed by the President for a term of three (3)years.

SEC. 6. Midwives for Skilled Attendance. -Every city and municipality shall endeavor to employ adequate number of midwives or other skilled attendants to achieve a minimum ratio of one (1)for every one hundred fifty (150) deliveries per year, to be based on the average annual number of actual deliveries or live births for the past two years. SEC. 5. Midwives for Skilled Attendance. – The Local Government Units (LGUs) with the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH), shall employ an adequate number of midwives to achieve a minimum ratio of one (1) fulltime skilled birth attendant for every one hundred fifty (150) deliveries per year, to be based on the annual number of actual deliveries or live births for the past two years; Provided, That people in geographically isolated and depressed areas shall be provided the same level of access.
SEC. 7. Emergency Obstetric Care. – Each province. and city shall endeavor to ensure the establishment and operation of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel that provide emergency obstetric care. For every 500,000 population, there shall be at least one (1) hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care and four (4) hospitals for basic emergency obstetric care. SEC. 6. Emergency Obstetric Care. – Each province and city, with the assistance of the DOH, shall establish or upgrade hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric care. For every 500,000 population, there shall be at least one (1) hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care and four (4) hospitals for basic emergency obstetric care; Provided, That people in geographically isolated and depressed areas shall be provided the same level of access.
SEC. 7. Access to Family Planning. All accredited health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, except in specialty hospitals which may render such services on optional basis. For poor patients, such services shall be fully covered by PhilHealth Insurance and/or government financial assistance.

After the use of any PhilHealth benefit involving childbirth and all other pregnancy-related services, if the beneficiary wishes to space or prevent her next pregnancy, PhilHealth shall pay for the full cost of family planning for the next three (3) years. The benefit payments shall be channeled to appropriate local or national government health facilities.

This is the funder of all other related pregnancy services (?)
SEC. 8. Maternal Death Review. – All LGUs, national and local government hospitals, and other public health units shall conduct maternal death review in accordance with the guidelines to be issued by the DOH in consultation with the POPCOM. SEC. 8. Maternal Death Review. – All Local Government Units (LGUs), national and local government hospitals, and other public health units shall conduct annual maternal death review in accordance with the guidelines set by the DOH. May statistics pa ata.
SEC. 9. Hospital-Based Family Planning. -Tubal ligation, vasectomy, intrauterine device insertion and other family planning methods requiring hospital services shall be available in all national and local government hospitals, except: in specialty hospitals which may render such services on an optional basis. For indigent patients, such services shall be fully covered by PhilHealth insurance and/or government financial assistance.
SEC. 10. Contraceptives as Essential Medicines. – Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products and supplies shall be considered under the category of essential medicines and supplies which shall form part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and lord hospitals and other government health units. SEC. 9. Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines. – Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe and effective family planning products and supplies shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units. Essential medicine na pala ang lahat ng contraceptives, etc.
SEC. 11. Mobile Health Care Service. -Each Congressional District shall be provided with a van to be known as the Mobile Health Care Service (MHOS) to deliver health care goods and services to its constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, as well as disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health: Provided, That reproductive health education shall be conducted by competent and adequately trained persons preferably reproductive health care providers: Provided, further, That the full range of family planning methods, both natural and modern, shall be promoted.

The acquisition, operation and maintenance of the MRCS shall be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each Congressional District.

The MHCS shall be adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentation.

SEC. 10. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies. – The DOH shall spearhead the efficient procurement, distribution to LGUs and usage-monitoring of family planning supplies for the whole country. The DOH shall coordinate with all appropriate LGU bodies to plan and implement this procurement and distribution program. The supply and budget allotments shall be based on, among others, the current levels and projections of the following:

a. number of women of reproductive age and couples who want to space or limit their children;

b. contraceptive prevalence rate, by type of method used; and

c. cost of family planning supplies.

DOH ang distribution channel.
SEC. 11. Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions. – All serious and life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers, and obstetric complications shall be given the maximum benefits as provided by PhilHealth programs.
SEC. 12. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. – Recognizing the importance of reproductive health rights in empowering the youth and developing them into responsible adults, Reproductive Health Education in an age-appropriate manner shall be taught by adequately trained teachers starting from Grade 5 up to Fourth Year High School. In order to assure the prior training of teachers on reproductive health, the implementation of Reproductive Health Education shall commence at the start of the school year one year following the effectivity of this Act. The POPCOM, in coordination with the Department of Education, shall formulate the Reproductive Health Education curriculum, which shall be common to both public and private schools and shall include related population and development concepts in addition to the following subjects and standards:

a. Reproductive health and sexual rights;

b. Reproductive health care and services;

c. Attitudes, beliefs and values on sexual development, sexual behavior and sexual health;

d. Proscription and hazards of abortion and management of post-abortion complications;

e. Responsible parenthood.

f. Use and application of natural and modern family planning methods to promote reproductive health, achieve desired family size and prevent unwanted, unplanned and mistimed pregnancies;

g. Abstinence before marriage;

h. Prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other, STIs/STDs, prostate cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer and other gynecological disorders;

i. Responsible sexuality; and

j. Maternal, peri-natal and post-natal education, care and services.

In support of the natural, and primary right of parents in the rearing of the youth, the POPCOM shall provide concerned parents with adequate and relevant scientific materials on the age-appropriate topics and manner of teaching reproductive health education to their children.

In the elementary level, reproductive health education shall focus, among others, on values formation.

Non-formal education programs shall likewise include the abovementioned reproductive Health Education.

SEC. 13. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education. – Age-appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and non-formal educational system starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School using life-skills and other approaches. Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall commence at the start of the school year immediately following one year from the effectivity of this Act to allow the training of concerned teachers. The Department of Education (DEPED), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Health (DOH) shall formulate the RH and Sexuality Education curriculum. Such curriculum shall be common to both public and private schools, out of school youth, and enrollees in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) based on, but not limited to, the following contents: psycho-social wellbeing, legal aspects of RH, demography and RH and physical wellbeing.

Age-appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education shall be integrated in all relevant subjects and shall include, but not limited to, the following topics:

a. Values formation;

b. Knowledge and skills in self protection against discrimination, sexual violence and abuse, and teen pregnancy;

c. Physical, social and emotional changes in adolescents;

d. Children’s and women’s rights;

e. Fertility awareness;

f. STI, HIV and AIDS;

g. Population and development;

h. Responsible relationship;

i. Family planning methods;

j. Proscription and hazards of abortion;

k. Gender and development; and

l. Responsible parenthood.

The DepEd, CHED, DSWD, TESDA, and DOH shall provide concerned parents with adequate and relevant scientific materials on the age-appropriate topics and manner of teaching reproductive health education to their children.

Sex education mandated.
SEC. 12. Mobile Health Care Service. – Each Congressional District shall be provided with at least one Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas. The MHCS shall deliver health care goods and services to constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The purchase of the MHCS shall be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each Congressional District. The operation and maintenance of the MHCS shall be subject to an agreement entered into between the district representative and the recipient focal municipality or city. The MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers and adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by a focal city or municipality within a congressional district. Funding from PDAF pa pala. Dito kaya magkakaron ng vasectomy etc? Parang sa India.
SEC. 13. Additional Duty of Family Planning 0ffice. – Each local Family Planning Office shall furnish for free instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition to all applicants for marriage license. SEC. 14. Additional Duty of Family Planning Office. – Each local Family Planning Office shall furnish free instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition to all applicants for marriage license.
SEC. 14. Certificate of Compliance. – No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition. SEC. 15. Certificate of Compliance. – No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.
SEC. 15. Capability Building of Community-Based Volunteer Workers. – Community-based volunteer workers, like but not limited to, Barangay Health Workers, shall undergo additional and updated training on the delivery of reproductive health care services and shall receive not less than 10% increase in honoraria upon successful completion of training. The increase in honoraria shall be funded from the Gender and Development (GAD) budget of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG). SEC. 16. Capability Building of Barangay Health Workers. – Barangay Health Workers and other community-based health workers shall undergo training on the promotion of reproductive health and shall receive at least 10% increase in honoraria, provided that those receiving less than P1,000 monthly shall receive at least 20% increase upon successful completion of training. This increase in honoraria shall be funded from the Gender and Development (GAD) budget and from the national fund on Financial Assistance to Local Government Units or its equivalent as provided for in the annual General Appropriations Act.
SEC. 16. Ideal Family Size. – The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall be imposed on parents having more than two children. SEC. 17. Ideal Family Size. – The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall be imposed on parents having more than two children. Na mention na ang 2 children as the ideal family size.
SEC. 17. Employers’ Responsibilities. – Employers shall respect the reproductive health rights of all their workers. Women shall not be discriminated against in the matter of hiring, regularization of employment status or selection for retrenchment.

All Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) shall provide for the free delivery by the employer of reasonable quantity of reproductive health care services, supplies and devices to all workers, more particularly women workers. In establishments or enterprises where there are no CBAs or where the employees are unorganized, the employer shall have the same obligation.

SEC. 18. Employers’ Responsibilities. – The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall ensure that employers respect the reproductive rights of workers. Consistent with the intent of Article 134 of the Labor Code, employers with more than 200 employees shall provide reproductive health services to all employees in their own respective health facilities. Those with less than 200 workers shall enter into partnerships with hospitals, health facilities, and/or health professionals in their areas for the delivery of reproductive health services.

Employers shall furnish in writing the following information to all employees and applicants:

a. The medical and health benefits which workers are entitled to, including maternity and paternity leave benefits and the availability of family planning

services;

b. The reproductive health hazards associated with work, including hazards that may affect their reproductive functions especially pregnant women; and

c. The availability of health facilities for workers.

All employers with 200 employees nakatali na dito.
SEC. 18. Support of Private and Non-government Health Care Service Providers. – Pursuant to Section 5(b) hereof, private reproductive health care service providers, including but not limited to gynecologists and obstetricians, are encouraged to join their colleagues in non-government organizations in rendering such services free of charge or at reduced professional fee rates to indigent and low income patients.
SEC. 19. Multi-Media Campaign. – POPCOM shall initiate and sustain an intensified nationwide multi-media campaign to raise the level of public awareness on the urgent need to protect and promote reproductive health and rights. SEC. 19. Multi-Media Campaign. – The DOH shall initiate and sustain a heightened nationwide multi-media campaign to raise the level of public awareness of the protection and promotion of reproductive health and rights including family planning and population and development.
SEC. 20. Reporting Requirements. – Before the end of April of each year,the DOH shall submit an annual report to the President of the Philippines, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on a definitive and comprehensive assessment of the implementation of this Act and shall make the necessary recommendations for executive and legislative action. The report shall be posted in the website of DOH and printed copies shall be made available to all stakeholders. SEC. 21. Reporting Requirements. – Before the end of April of each year, the DOH shall submit an annual report to the President of the Philippines, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report shall provide a definitive and comprehensive assessment of the implementation of its programs and those of other Government agencies and instrumentalities, civil society and the private sector and recommend appropriate priorities for executive and legislative actions. The report shall be printed and distributed to all national agencies, the LGUs, civil society and the private sector organizations involved in said programs.

The annual report shall evaluate the content, implementation and impact of all policies related to reproductive health and family planning to ensure that such policies promote, protect and fulfill reproductive health and rights, particularly of parents, couples and women.

This ensures the mdg monitoring function.
SEC. 20. Implementing Mechanisms. – Pursuant to the herein declared policy, the DOH and the Local Health Units in cities and municipalities shall serve as the lead agencies for the implementation of this Act and shall integrate in their regular operations the following functions:

a. Ensure full and efficient implementation of the Reproductive Health Care Program;

b. Ensure people’s access to medically safe, legal, effective, quality and affordable reproductive health goods and services;

c. Ensure that reproductive health services are delivered with a full range of supplies, facilities and equipment and that service providers are adequately trained for such reproductive health care delivery;

d. Take active steps to expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), especially among poor and marginalized women, to include the full range of reproductive health services and supplies as health insurance benefits;

e. Strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, legal, effective, quality, accessible and affordable reproductive health services and commodities with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and mechanisms;

f. Facilitate the involvement and participation of non-government organizations and the private sector in reproductive health care service delivery and in the production, distribution and delivery of quality reproductive health and family planning supplies and commodities to make them accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens;

g. Furnish local government units with appropriate information and resources to keep them updated on current studies and researches relating to family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition; and

h. Perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act.

The Population Commission, (POPCOM) as an attached agency of DOH, shall serve as the coordinating body in the implementation of this Act and shall have the following functions:

a. Integrate on a continuing basis the interrelated reproductive health and population development agenda consistent with the herein declared national policy, taking into account regional and local concerns;

b. Provide the mechanism to ensure active and full participation of the private sector and the citizenry through their organizations in the planning and implementation of reproductive health care and population and development programs and projects;

c. Conduct sustained and effective information drives on sustainable human development and on all methods of family planning to prevent unintended, unplanned and mistimed pregnancies.

Ang daming trabaho ng DOH at LGU. Mabigat ata ito. Kaya ba nila ito?

Eto pala role ng pop com.  Finally lumabas na ang papel nila.

SEC. 21. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited:

a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall:

1. Knowingly withhold information or impede the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods;

2. Refuse to perform voluntary ligation and vasectomy and other legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of spousal consent or authorization.

3. Refuse to provide reproductive health care services to an abused minor, whose abused condition is certified by the proper official or personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or to duly DSWD-certified abused pregnant minor on whose case no parental consent is necessary.

4. Fail to provide, either deliberately or through gross or inexcusable negligence, reproductive health care services as mandated under this Act, the Local Government Code of 1991, the Labor Code, and Presidential Decree 79, as amended; and

5. Refuse to extend reproductive health care services and information on account of the patient’s civil status, gender or sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, and nature of work; Provided, That all conscientious objections of health care service providers based on religious grounds shall be respected: Provided, further, That the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the patient is not in an emergency or serious case as defined in RA 8344 penalizing the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases.

b) Any public official who prohibits or restricts personally or through a subordinate the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning;

c) Any employer who shall fail to comply with his obligation under Section 17 of this Act or an employer who requires a female applicant or employee, as a condition for employment or continued employment, to involuntarily undergo sterilization, tubal ligation or any other form of contraceptive method;

d) Any person who shall falsify a certificate of compliance as required in Section 14 of this Act; and

e) Any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act.

SEC. 22. Prohibited Acts. -The following acts are prohibited:

a) Any healthcare service provider, whether public or private, who shall:

1. Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health, including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods;

2. Refuse to perform legal and medically-safe reproductive health procedures on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of third party consent or authorization. In case of married persons, the mutual consent of the spouses shall be preferred. However in case of disagreement, the decision of the one undergoing the procedure shall prevail. In the case of abused minors where parents and/or other family members are the perpetrators as certified to by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), no prior parental consent shall be necessary; and

3. Refuse to extend health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, or nature of work; Provided, That, the conscientious objection of a healthcare service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another healthcare service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible; Provided, further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in RA 8344 penalizing the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases.

b) Any public official who, personally or through a subordinate, prohibits or restricts the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning; or forces, coerces or induces any person to use such services.

c) Any employer or his representative who shall require an employee or applicant, as a condition for employment or continued employment, to undergo sterilization or use or not use any family planning method; neither shall pregnancy be a ground for non-hiring or termination of employment.

d) Any person who shall falsify a certificate of compliance as required in Section 15 of this Act; and

e) Any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act.

SEC. 22. Penalties. – The proper city or municipal court shall exercise jurisdiction over violations of this Act and the accused who is found guilty shall be sentenced to an imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine ranging from Ten Thousand Pesos (P10,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. If the offender is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the president, treasurer, secretary or any responsible officer. An offender who is an alien shall, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without further proceedings by the Bureau of Immigration. An offender who is a public officer or employee shall suffer the accessory penalty of dismissal from the government service.

Violators of this Act shall be civilly liable to the offended party in such amount at the discretion of the proper court.

SEC. 23. Penalties. – Any commission of the foregoing prohibited acts or violation of this Act shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of Ten Thousand (P 10,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P 50,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the competent court; Provided That, if the offender is a public official or employee, he or she shall suffer the accessory penalty of dismissal from the government service and forfeiture of retirement benefits. If the offender is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the president or any responsible officer. An offender who is an alien shall, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without further proceedings by the Bureau of Immigration.
SEC. 23. Appropriations. – The amounts appropriated in the current annual General Appropriations Act for reproductive health and family planning under the DOH and POPCOM together with ten percent (10%) of the Gender and Development (GAD) budgets of all government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities funded in the annual General Appropriations Act in accordance with Republic Act No. 7192 (Women in Development and Nation-building Act) and Executive Order No. 273 (Philippine Plan for Gender Responsive Development 1995-2025) shall be allocated and utilized for the implementation of this Act. Such additional sums as may be necessary for the effective implementation of this Act shall be Included in the subsequent years’ General Appropriations Acts. SEC. 24. Appropriations. – The amounts appropriated in the current annual General Appropriations Act for reproductive health and natural and artificial family planning under the DOH and POPCOM and other concerned agencies shall be allocated and utilized for the initial implementation of this Act. Such additional sums necessary to implement this Act; provide for the upgrading of facilities necessary to meet Basic Emergency Obstetric Care and Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care standards; train and deploy skilled health providers; procure family planning supplies and commodities as provided in Sec. 10; and implement other reproductive health services, shall be included in the subsequent years’ General Appropriations Acts. Na simplify na ang source of funding.  Kasi nadistribute na earlier sa other sources.
SEC. 24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – Within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act, the Department of Health shall promulgate, after thorough consultation with the Commission on Population (POPCOM), the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), concerned non-government organizations (NGOs) and known reproductive health advocates, the requisite implementing rules and regulations. SEC. 25. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – Within thirty (30) days from the effectivity of this Act, the Department of Health, National Economic and Development Authority, Department of Education, and the Department of Social Welfare and Development, in sustained and meaningful consultation with non-government, women’s, people’s, and civil society organizations, shall jointly promulgate, the rules and regulations for the effective implementation of this Act. At least 30% of the members of the drafting committee shall come from aforesaid organizations. Full dissemination of the Implementing Rules and Regulations to the public shall be ensured. 30% from NGO’s?  Ang bigat ng role nila.
SEC. 25. Separability Clause. – If any part, section or provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in full force and effect. SEC. 26. Separability Clause. – If any part or provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
SEC. 26. Repealing Clause. – All laws, decrees, Orders, issuances, rules and regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly. SEC. 27. Repealing Clause. All other laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SEC. 27. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of national circulation. SEC. 28. Effectivity. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

Catholic political party “Ang Kapatiran” filed a class suit vs Department of Education over sex education

The Catholic political party Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) Monday filed a class suit in the Quezon City Regional Trial Court to stop the DepEd plan to teach sex education because it supposedly violated the rights of parents to nurture the moral character of their children.

Parents, led by AKP lawyer Jo Imbong, Monday filed with the Quezon City RTC a 28-page petition to stop the DepEd from teaching sex education in schools.

The petitioners said that the DepEd’s Memorandum No. 261 on sex education was unconstitutional since it “[violates] substantive due process and [violates] the primary right of parents to the development of the moral character of their children.”

They further claimed that the DepEd memo also violated the families’ right to participate in the planning and implementation of policies affecting them and the spouses’ right to find a family planning method according to their religious beliefs.

The petitioners stressed that there was no need to train children as young as 9 years old on reducing fertility, preventing sexually transmitted illnesses and the reproductive health components like family planning services, condoms and contraceptive pills.

“Are they, especially the grade schoolers, already generally indulging in sex and are promiscuous enough as to warrant HIV/AIDS protection or the use of condoms, IUDs and contraceptive pills? Our kids are not that sex-liberated. Essentially, they still have conservative sex values… DepEd Memo 261 is unreasonable and arbitrary unless DepEd is candid enough to admit that its real agenda is to transform the sex behavior of our kids towards being sex-obsessed,” the petitioners said.

Sex ed not the answer

“Sex education in schools is not the answer to our population problem and poverty,” AKP head Eric Manalang said Monday.

“It promotes promiscuity among children… it does not promote the proper values that we want our children to receive in schools and we believe sex education should strictly remain a family affair,” he said.

Manalang said the chances of the legal bid succeeding were high with the CBCP, as well as various parent groups, supporting the fight.

“Issues that are not for children should not be taught in schools,” the bishops’ conference had said in a statement. With reports from Julie M. Aurelio and Agence France-Presse

Source: Philip Tubeza, “Only courts can stop sex ed, says DepEd,” Philippine Daily Inquirer 06/22/2010.

Bernardo M. Villegas: Reproductive Health Bill is a Dead Issue

BERNARDO M. VILLEGAS
May 14, 2010

RH Bill Is A Dead Issue

Whoever gets elected as the next President of the Philippines, he would be well advised to assign the lowest priority to population management or population control among his immediate concerns during the first 100 days of his mandate. In fact, I would even say he should dismiss it as a dead issue. There are more positive, direct and effective solutions to mass poverty and unemployment that are free from controversy. Although I respect economists and other experts who strongly support population management as a means of combatting mass poverty, the truth is that there is absolutely no consensus among leading economists both here and abroad about the correlation between population growth and poverty. There are Nobel laureates and other leading international and national economists on both sides of the debate. The jury is still out about whether or not promoting the use of artificial contraceptives could be a major solution to mass poverty.

As a long-standing critic of population control, let me summarize here why a legislation like the RH Bill could be economically counterproductive. The most recent evidence that a large population is an asset and not a liability to a developing country like the Philippines is what I call the “VIP phenomenon.” During the Great Recession we have just experienced, only three countries in East Asia (with the exception of China) avoided a recession. These are Vietnam, Indonesia and the Philippines (the VIP countries of the ASEAN). A key explanation for the resilience of these three countries is their large domestic markets that partly insulated them from the depressive impact of a shrinking world economy. Even if they also experienced large declines in their exports like the tiger economies such as Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan (which all suffered a recession), their large populations served as strong domestic markets for their business enterprises, both large and small. In the next ten to twenty years, the countries with large populations such as China, India, Brazil, Indonesia and others will be the engines of growth, eclipsing the aging OECD countries who, with the exception of the United States, are all suffering from the devastating effects of the demographic winter.

Another strong argument against population control is the peculiar case of Thailand. Even prescinding from the ongoing political unrest, Thailand’s still relatively large population of over 60 million did not enable it to get into the list of the Next Eleven emerging markets that will dominate the global economy. Because of a very aggressive population control program in the last century, Thailand is in serious danger of growing old before becoming rich. Despite its extraordinary success in improving the productivity of its agricultural sector by investing wisely in countryside infrastructure, Thailand is still far from being a developed country. But its aging population is now growing faster than its labor force, threatening to engulf the country in a demographic winter too prematurely. To make matters worse, the aggressive distribution of condoms in the last century has made Thailand the worst victim of HIV-AIDS in East Asia, with some 1 million people infected with this dreaded disease. Being once considered our non-identical twin, Thailand should be a model for us in the area of agricultural development. But we should avoid literally like the plague its population control experience.

The next President knows very well that the most serious challenge to his Administration will be to raise government revenues in order to reduce the fiscal deficit, while still spending large amounts in infrastructures and in improving the quality of public education. Time and again, we have been told by international agencies, both public and private, that 400 billion pesos are being lost to corruption every year. About half of this is due to those who cheat the Government by not paying their taxes. This is private sector corruption, with the connivance of BIR officials. The other half is due to corrupt government officials in the Department of Education, Department of Public Works, Department of Agriculture and others who channel public funds to private pockets. By aggressively going after these corrupt people, as President SBY of Indonesia has done in his first five years, the next Administration will be able to significantly reduce the fiscal deficit while still having enough revenues to continue improving our physical infrastructure and the quality of education.

It would really be foolish for the next President to assign any importance to the RH Bill which can only divide the country needlessly and not even promise an immediate solution to the pressing problems of the national economy. As I have written so often, there are dozens of tried and tested solutions to mass poverty in the Philippines, solutions that can easily generate consensus. Among them are building farm-to-market roads, irrigation systems and post-harvest facilities; providing microcredit to the poor; developing small and medium-scale enterprises; putting up vocational and technical schools for the out-of-school youth; financing social housing for the poor; and teaming up with the private sector to assist returning OFWs in starting sustainable small businesses in which they can invest their savings. Let us ignore the voices of those in the new Congress who will try to resuscitate a dead horse, the very controversial RH Bill.
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For comment, my email address is bvillegas@uap.edu.ph.

Alliance of Concerned Parents against Condom stage a rally in front of Department of Health

MANILA, March 12, 2010— Filipino parents took out a rally in Sta. Cruz district to protest against the state government’s promotion of condom and other contraceptives across the country.

The government health department is currently on aggressive campaign to push the use of contraceptives as part of its campaign against HIV. The advocacy also aims to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

But in Manila, around 60 people from the group, Alliance of Concerned Parents against Condom, stage a rally Friday in front of the Department of Health. “The use a condom is another way to promote free sex,” said Jose Rufo Fernandez, one of the protesters. He called on the authorities to implement effective measures if only to stop the spread of the dreaded disease and that is according to moral principles. During the rally, protesters distributed flyers, reading “There’s no such thing as safe sex” to pedestrians and motorists. The group vowed to initiate more rallies in other parts of Metro Manila in the coming days, saying the public needs to know the real score about the government pro-contraceptive policy.

Another protester Alice Mendiola called on the government to close down short-time motels and ban prostitution in the country. She said it’s ironic that the government flaunts its anti-HIV campaign and yet tolerate major venues which cause the disease to spread. “Why do they have to promote condoms that have been proven to be ineffective in the battle against AIDS in other countries,” Mendiola said.

The protesters also called on President Arroyo to clarify the stand of her administration on artificial family planning. Arroyo had been claiming that she is still for natural family planning but the health department, so far, is doing otherwise. Mendiola said the fate of the promotion of contraceptives—considered one of the most contested issues among Church leaders and State officials—still lies in the hands of the chief executive. (CBCPNews)