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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Sex education, the public school system, and the La Salle brothers

St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle teaching little boys

St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle teaching little boys

The RH Bill has now passed the bicameral committee.  One of the provisions of the bill is the sex education for students 10 to 19 years of age.   The government cannot even provide decent math and science teachers for elementary and high school. Neither has the government  finalized its science and math curriculum for K-12.  So how can the government even begin to think on how to train these teachers for sex education?

How many teachers would the government hire to teach sex education at the age levels mentioned?  Will these teachers also require Licensure Examinations in sex education?  Would licentiousness be sufficient to become a teacher?  How about sexually well-experienced, especially in the use of condoms, pills, and IUD’s?  Will there be teaching demonstration experiments similar to those in physics?  Will the experiments be physical, e.g. hand to mouth or mouth to mouth, etc?  Will there be take home assignments and practice sessions with one’s brother or sister or with one’s neighbor? Will there be discriminations for other sexual orientations–lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transexuals?  Will there be demos for these groups as well?  What will be the audio-visual aids?  Will the students read articles or watch movies on how to have “safe and satisfying sex”?  I shudder at the thought.

Thinking about these things can already excite a man’s mind, even if he has been trying to live a life of prayer and virtue.  And how much more will these things excite the minds of the young who do not have enough spiritual defenses at their disposal and who would only rely on the guidance of their parents who are not even around when these things will be taught.  If sex education do not require the parent’s presence and guidance, we might just as well remove all the parental guidance notices in TV shows and movies.

Christ said:

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.7 Woe to the world because of things that cause sin! Such things must come, but woe to the one through whom they come!” (Mt 18:6-7)

May these words strike terror in the hearts of Pres. Noynoy Aquino and his cohorts who pushed the RH Bill to ratification.

I’ll mention these things in my January talk on Faith and Science in Bacolod. I may meet some teachers, religious, seminarians, and priests there.  We need to get the word out.  The hardest hit would be the public schools, because they cannot opt against this sex education.  One possibility is for parents to petition the public schools to scrap this sex education for their children.  The other option is for students walk out of the classes, and merit all the sanctions the school and the lawmakers can think of, such as not being able to graduate.  We need heroic witnessing and only the parish priest and the local bishop can lead here, because public school students and their parents are also part of the flock entrusted to them by Christ.

How about our parochial schools? I guess they cannot beat public schools in tuition, because one cannot compete against the government. We need educational reform for all dioceses in the Philippines. We need an educational system for the poor. This used to be the primary apostolate of the La Salle Brothers (known in other parts of the world as Brothers of the Christian Schools) worldwide: to teach little boys and girls practical skills to earn a living. The medium of instruction is not Latin but the local vernacular, such as French in St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle’s time.; the Jesuits, on the other hand, are originally primarily interested in training seminarians, so the emphasis of their educational system is more theology and more Latin, which would make seminarians better priests.

But the La Salle Brothers are also a dwindling religious order. They now rely most  of their teaching apostolate to the laity who needs to be paid full salaries in order to teach. Thus, tuition shoots up to high levels beyond the capacity of the poor, even if tuition is socialized. A single La Salle brother only needs to be fed and housed. He can work overtime without pay. And he can teach for free. Without an army of La Salle brothers, a diocese can never compete with the public schools in terms of tuition.  Without an army of La Salle brothers, the Catholic Church can never stop the growing malaise of sex education in public schools. We need to stop sex education in public and private schools!  We need an army of La Salle brothers!

The harvest is ripe but the laborers are few.  Let us pray that the Lord would send more La Salle brothers to labor in the public education system.

Sex Education and Reproductive Health Bill: Bishop Luis Antonio Tagle interviews Fr. Nono Alfonso, S.J.

My transcription of the Word Exposed–RH bill part 8 by Bishop Tagle on the Reproductive Health Bill.  The interview with Fr. Nono Alfonso, S.J. was dated May 16, 2011.  See the  You Tube here.

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TAGLE:

My friends here we are again in the discussion about the different facets of the controversial reproductive health bill which is being pushed in the congress. we are glad that this discussion is being watched, heard, and shared with many.

With us once again is Fr. Nono Alfonso, SJ. He is the executive director of the Jesuit Communications.

Fr. Nono welcome back!

NONO:

Good morning, bishop. And good morning to you all.

TAGLE:

The morning is getting better because you are giving us your time.

My friends what we shall tackle now is related to education, especially sex education of children. This is what we shall look at together with the responsibility of the parents.

Ok fr. nono.

NONO:

Yes, because what we refer to here contains something controversial–in the eyes of the church and of some parents. There are provisions in the RH bill or RP bill which is being pushed in the congress, which says that from Grade 5, our children will be taught sex education. Of course, this is very controversial, because first, should they be taught at their age? They are still very innocent. Should they immediately be taught? Second, Who should be teaching these things, these sensitive issues of sex and sexuality. What can you say about these bishop in these two questions. The children Grade 5 and second, you know the situation in our schools, in our public schools. Should they be the one who shall teach?

TAGLE:

Maybe in your first point on the sex education that shall start at Grade 5. Of course, one of our aims is total education. We always say this. Education can help not only in the development of man but also in man’s progress. Education is also part of the Church’s mission. Like you, the society of jesus, you are into educational ministry, mission. Thus, It is not true as what others are saying that the Church is opposed to education. No. What the church wants to emphasize is this: because holistic education to make better citizens of the nation and better christians–is that we must be very prudent. For example, in the field of Sex education at these ages, We must study this carefully, because instead of educating, we plant more the seeds of what can destroy later on. Is education what shall really happen or we are pushing in the too early times the children the things that cannot be handled by their minds. I am a teacher, too.

NONO:

He is a good teacher.

TAGLE:

He is also a good student. That’s enough.

I also teach. I always look at the reactions of the students.  Sometimes, I feel what I prepared and the topic. Maybe it is not yet right for them. Maybe there are things that are preliminary before this topic can be truly understood. That is why I understand this preoccupation. Maybe it would be a wrong education that will happen if in this age that they are not prepared, you will be the one who shall put wrong ideas.

Also what is terrifying is that there are somethings–that is even before the present heads the department of education have sat in office–there are now pilot modules of sex education manuals. These are already being tested in 10 pilot regions, but they refuse to state what schools are these implemented. Aside from the contents, if we see the other excerpts, they are somewhat shocking.

NONO:

I saw the modules. First, they have a request to their students in these pilot testing, “Do not to share this when you go back to your parents. And especially do not tell this to Father or to Sister.”  There are these prohibitions to the students. This is like teaching children to tell a lie. But this is shocking, bishop. What I found out is not even for grade 5, but for lower grade levels. They are already taught–I am sorry for saying this–masturbation. These are for mature audiences. You can see from the modules that they give that these are not well discerned, they do not ask “who are the audience?”

TAGLE:

What you are saying is good, Fr. Nono. The concern of the church is that in these modules the approach to sex is too clinical: it is only an activity, only factual, biological, on what is said, “How can you protect yourself?” But the sexual act is always part of morality and relationship. And that is what is not being tackled. This is where the biggest concern of the church lies. Is sex education only just about a technique or how to do it or are they part of the holistic view of man and relationships?

NONO:

These are the values.

TAGLE:

Precisely. And what you are saying is what I also saw: “You are not obliged to tell this to your parents.” When I saw these, I put myself in the minds of the parents. I have a child. There is always a apprehension on what is being taught to my child. When I see behavioral change, I ask what is happening. In the teaching of the church, the primary responsibility of teaching and formation of the children are the parents. And that is also in the Constitution.

NONO:

And that is also the answer to my second question. Who shall be the one who shall teach? Because I have a very practical view of these things, bishop, because have interviewed in Radio Veritas, the teachers themselves who admit that they are not trained to teach. You know the state of our schools: lack of classroooms, lack of textbooks. So the teachers make their own rackets and gimmicks. They do not have the same teaching styles. This is terrifying. And some are using certain things just to teach these sensitive issues. Second, not only the physical structure, but also the teachers themselves admit that they lack traing on how to teach these sensitive issue. That is why bishop, it is too terrifying for me.

TAGLE:

Now, the challenge is if we want that we parents are the ones who will form, especially those who are married in the church. I remember that there is a question for those who are getting married: are you ready to raise as better Christians the children that God will give you. There in the ritual itself, we are being reminded that we have the responsibility. The schools, catechists, and teachers are only support. And the parents have right to say, “I don’t want these lessons. Do not teach these to my children.” Now if this is mandatory, it removes from the parents their role. And what is happening?  Is this dictating to the parents? But we want children to be truly educated. In the biological part, there are sciences, there is biology. And there are values. We wish that the parents must also take their formation seriously, so that they can form their children.

NONO:

We hope we have helped and gave explanations.

TAGLE:

So, thank you again, Fr. Nono.

NONO:

It has been a pleasure, bishop.

TAGLE:

If we call you, you do not think twice. Thank you very much to you, especially those who follow this discussion. We encourage you to share what you learned in our simple discussion. Thank you very much.

Ang Kapatiran Party: Position Paper on the Reproductive Health Bill

Source: Phnix

Introduction

The Ang Kapatiran Party, a registered national political party, is releasing this Position Paper which summarizes a number of objections to the proposed “reproductive health” (RH) bills that are currently pending in Congress.

To date, a number of have been filed at the House of Representatives. These include House Bill 96, known as the “Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010,” filed by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman. This new bill is a rewritten version of the draconian HB 5043, which did not pass in the last Congress despite the underhanded and deceptive tactics of its authors and foreign-funded proponents.

Other bills on “reproductive health” filed in the 15th Congress include HB101 by Rep Janette Garin of Iloilo, HB513 by Rep. Bag-Ao of the AKBAYAN Party-List, and HB1160 by Rep. Rodolfo Biazon of Muntinlupa. These bills may be consolidated into one much like HB5043 in the 14th Congress.

The points covered in this paper are based on scientific evidence and legal arguments acceptable by persons from any religion. They do not, however, include all the many moral and religious arguments which could still be made against the proposed RH bills.

The so-called reproductive health agenda is essentially repackaged population control and are a step in the direction of legalized abortion. Indeed, as this paper will show, the many RH bills in the past and present explicitly fund abortifacient contraceptives. They also have provisions that are undemocratic and violate the human and civil rights of Filipinos. As a pro-life, pro-family, and pro-God organization, the Ang Kapatiran Party rejects the radical RH agenda as well as the bills that promote it. The party calls on all Filipinos to defend the sanctity of life, their rights, and our democracy by likewise rejecting the bill and to openly express their opposition to the radical RH agenda.

This paper was originally released in August 2010. This latest revision (version 06) is was released in November 2010.

Objections to the proposed reproductive health bills

1 The bills fund abortifacient contraceptives and are thus
unconstitutional.

The bills explicitly fund the procurement and distribution of abortifacient contraceptives such as oral contraceptives, other hormonal contraceptives, and the IUD. Section 9 of the proposed HB 96, for example, classifies hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, and injectables as “essential medicines,” includes them as part of the National Drug Formulary, and subsidizes their procurement.

Such contraceptives, however, have been shown to cause early-term abortions by preventing the implantation and development of the fertilized egg – which is already a newly-conceived human being
– in the womb.

One such study, “Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent,” came to the following conclusion:

“It seems likely that for perfect use of COCs, postfertilization mechanisms would be likely to have a small but not negligible role. For POPs, COCs with lower doses of estrogen, and imperfect use of any OCs, postfertilization effects are likely to have an increased role. In any case, the medical literature does not support the hypothesis that postfertilization effects of OCs do not exist.”1

Scientific studies show that IUDs are also abortifacient. Stanford and Mikolajczyk found that, “both prefertilization and postfertilization mechanisms of action contribute significantly to the effectiveness
of all types of intrauterine devices.”2CVS/Pharmacy (http://www.cvs.com), described the functions of IUDs in the following manner:

“IUDs are thought to prevent pregnancy by making the womb ‘unfriendly’ to sperm and eggs. Sperm is either killed, or kept from reaching and fertilizing an egg. An IUD also may keep a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb and growing into a baby.”3

The promotion and use of abortifacients is clearly against Article 2, Section 12 of the Philippine Constitution which protects the unborn from conception which begins at fertilization (the union of sperm and egg). It states:

“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. The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the supportof the Government.”

An abortifacient, however, causes the eventual destruction of the fertilized egg — of newly-conceived life. The RH bill, as stated earlier, promotes and funds such abortifacients. It therefore violates the Philippine Constitution.

Furthermore, the Filipino Family Survey (2009), conducted in December 2009 by the HB&A-ARO Research Group, found that 91% of Metro Manila residents agree that human and animal life start upon conception (when the sperm joins the egg), 98% would not ever consider aborting their unborn child still forming in the womb even if the pregnancy is unplanned, and 98% would not consider or condone aborting a baby even within the first three months. Of those aware of the pro-life provisions of Article 2, Section 12 of the Philippine Constitution, 87% agree with it.4

It may be argued that the abortifacient mechanism of some oral contraceptives has not been conclusively proven to occur in human beings, or that if it does occur then this occurrence is very rare. To the first argument we would reply that even if there really were any doubt that a contraceptive is abortifacient, the grave stakes involved (the death of a human being) means that the burden of proof is on those who would deny that these are abortifacients. In other words, they must prove that these contraceptives are in fact non-abortifacient. Until such a conclusive determination is achieved we must err on the side of caution and not place the lives of the unborn at risk.

To the second argument we reply that there is no medical necessity to birth control that justifies such a risk to the unborn child. Artificial methods of birth control are not necessary to preserve health; they are not therapeutic and pregnancy is not a disease. We also note that the imperative to avoid the questionable methods promoted by the RH bill becomes especially more compelling since there is a safe, modern, and effective alternative: Natural Family Planning.

2 Filipinos do not want an RH law.

The Filipino Family Survey mentioned earlier revealed that 92% of Metro Manila residents are against the passage of the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill once they know and understand its provisions. It was conducted from December 2-9, 2009, was conducted by HB&A International Research using the experienced field personnel of the Asian Research Organization (ARO), the Philippine affiliate of Gallup International. The poll has called into question claims of wide public support for the proposed measure made by its authors and supporters.

The claims of widespread support for a reproductive health law are also highly questionable as they are based on misleading surveys. Previous surveys by the pro-RH SWS asked questions such as whether the respondents favored family planning or believed in proper sex education, both of which are measures that even opponents of the bill, such as the Catholic Church, already support. Most respondents were almost totally unaware of the provisions of the bill in question. Former Congressman Leonie Montemayor of the Alyansang Bayanihan ng mga Magsasaka, Manggagawang-Bukid at Mangingisda (ABA) noted that, “Earlier surveys were couched in very general terms and without first ensuring that the respondents had read or understood the contents [of the RH Bill].”

RH proponent and SWS president, Mahar Mangahas, acknowledged in his column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the previous SWS surveys made no mention of the penal provisions of the previous RH Bill (and which are still in HB 96).5 These include Section 21 of the RH bill which forces doctors and health workers to distribute abortifacient and artificial contraceptives against their conscience. If they object, the provision requires them to refer those who request for such contraceptives to other persons who will do the same objectionable act. Those who refuse to do so face heavy fines and imprisonment.

Critics of the bill, however, point out that these are some of its most controversial aspects, and that even erstwhile supporters of the general purposes of the bill have expressed objections to these penal provisions. Former finance secretary Roberto de Ocampo, for example wrote the following in the Philippine Daily Inquirer:

“…the present draft bill contains punitive provisions that are tantamount to an affront to civil liberties and smack of religious persecution. Just read the section mandating private sector employees and private health practitioners to actively promote artificial birth control methods and distribute devices whether or not their conscience and religious convictions agree with the practice. Combine that with the section imposing penalties of imprisonment or fines or both if they don’t follow or are deemed guilty of “perceived violations” and tell me that the bill does not encroach on basic civil rights. Tell me that the bill does not unfairly force a person into a moral dilemma, a State-induced struggle of conscience. This is not education, it’s coercion. This is not choice, it’s threat.”6

3 Contraceptives often do not prevent unplanned pregnancy and may actually increase them.

Numerous studies have shown that the increased availability and usage of contraceptives does not necessarily reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortion. In fact, contraceptives often increase them. For example, in the United States, 89% of sexually active women of reproductive age “at risk” of becoming pregnant use contraception, and 98% have used it in their lifetime, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute.7 In addition, with typical use, 9% of women using oral contraceptives (OC) will become pregnant within one year,8 as will 15% of women whose partners use condoms.9 Forty-eight percent of women with unintended pregnancies were using contraception in the month they became pregnant.10

Other studies show that greater access to contraception does not reduce unintended pregnancy. These include:

  • Peter Arcidiacono (2005) found that among teens, “increasing access to contraception may actually increase long run pregnancy rates even though short run pregnancy rates fall. On the other hand, policies that decrease access to contraception, and hence sexual activity, are likely to lower pregnancy rates in the long run.”11
  • David Paton (2002) in a study of 16 regions of the U.K. over a 14-year period, found no increase in pregnancies or abortions in underage English girls despite reduced access to contraception, and no decrease in underage pregnancies or abortions overall from greater access to contraception. He found “no evidence” that “the provision of family planning reduces either underage conception or abortion rates.”12
  • Lawrence Finer (2007) in “Trends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954-2003,” found that the increase in premarital sex amongst a group of teens turning 15 during the years 1964-1973 “may be partly due to increased availability of effective contraception (in particular, the pill), which made it less likely that sex would lead to pregnancy.”13
  • Douglas Kirby (1999) concluded: “Most studies that have been conducted during the past 20 years have indicated that improving access to contraception did not significantly increase contraceptive use or decrease teen pregnancy.”14
  • Akerlof, Yellen, and Katz (1996) argue that a phenomenon they call “reproductive technology shock,” caused by contraception, birth control, and legal abortion, changed the relationships between men and women, and led to an increase in out-of-wedlock births. Women that did not resort to these methods were at a disadvantage and biological fathers increasingly rejected the idea of paternal obligation.15

4 Since contraceptives will not reduce unplanned pregnancy, they will not reduce abortion rates either and may increase them.

As shown in the previous section, contraceptive usage can actually increase the incidence of unplanned pregnancy, and consequently, demand for abortion. In addition, studies in democratic countries that do not have historically very high abortion rates and where fertility is healthy or still dropping – exactly the situation in the Philippines – reveal that contraception does not necessarily lower abortion rates.

The Guttmacher Institute notes that in the United States, 54% of women seeking abortions were using contraception in the month they became pregnant.16 In Sweden, K. Edgardh found that despite free abortions, free contraceptive counseling, low cost condoms and oral contraceptives, and over-thecounter emergency contraception (EC), Swedish teen abortion rates rose to 22.5 per thousand from 17 per thousand between 1995 and 2001.17
Pro-RH groups have often cited studies that they claim prove that contraception will lower abortion rates. But much of this data is from countries that had abnormally high abortion rates to begin with, or countries that have very low, constant fertility. These conditions do not exist in the Philippines The republics of the former Soviet Union and the Russian Federation are examples of countries that have historically very high abortion rates as a result of abortion being used as a birth control method, as well as government coercion or encouragement to abort.

The Guttmacher Institute’s own study in 2003 showed simultaneous increases both abortion rates and contraceptive use in the United States, Cuba, Denmark, Netherlands, Singapore, and South Korea. The study also claimed, however, that abortion rates went down after fertility on some of those countries had reached very low levels and became constant, particularly in South Korea. Critics note, however, that In the United States, lowered abortion rates were also due to state laws restricting access to abortion.

Michael New Ph.D., (Feb. 2007), for example, found that pro-life legislation such as laws requiring parental involvement in the abortion decision, requiring informed consent, imposing Medicaid funding restrictions, and banning partial-birth abortion, reduces minors’ abortion rates. Parental involvement

state laws resulted in a 30.5% decline, and Medicaid funding restrictions which result in a 23% decline.18 In an earlier (2006) study, Dr. New also found that after states passed and enforced parental involvement laws, abortion rates among minors were reduced. When these laws were repealed,
abortion rates rose, and dropped again when new parental involvement laws were again passed and enforced.19

5 The contraceptive approach does not address the causes of maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The contraceptive approach taken by the HB 96 (and in its previous versions) treats pregnancy as if it were a disease, and seeks to reduce maternal mortality simply by reducing childbirth. Instead of providing urgently needed health care, the approach mainly provides condoms and abortifacient contraceptives, and therefore ignores the real causes of maternal death while attacking a non-problem. It will only succeed in diverting scarce resources away from more urgent problems while encouraging even more promiscuity and – as people experience even more contraceptive failures – eventually greater demand for abortion.
Instead of providing contraceptives, with all their attendant health risks and costs, maternal deaths related to childbirth can be reduced by increasing access to health facilities and skilled birth attendants.

According to the National Demographic and Health Survey 2008, only 44 percent of births occur in health facilities and only 62% of births are assisted by a health professional.20

Instead of wasting scarce funds on contraceptives the government should increase access to basic health facilities and trained birth attendants. These measures will do more to lower maternal deaths than contraceptives.

Former senator Kit Tatad expressed the same idea in his article, “Revised: The Truth and Half-Truths About Reproductive Health,” notes that “…experience has shown (as in Gattaran, Cagayan and Sorsogon, Sorsogon) that the incidence of maternal death arising from such complications could be fully mitigated and brought down to zero simply by providing adequate basic and emergency obstetrics care and skilled medical personnel and services.”21

The Philippines has to deal with many other true killer diseases such as heart and vascular diseases, pneumonia, tuberculosis, cancer, and diabetes. The government does not provide free medicines and medical treatment for these because it cannot afford to do so. Why then should it waste money on contraceptives which do not treat any real disease? Pregnancy is not a disease.

6 The contraceptive approach does not address the real causes of
infant mortality
If we accept the assertion that infants and children have a greater probability of dying if they are born to mothers who are too young or too old, if they are born after a short birth interval, or if they are of high birth order.

Contraceptive methods, however, introduce other adverse medical side-effects. This is unnecessary since modern natural Family Planning methods are completely safe and can be easily used to effect birth spacing and avoid early or late pregnancies. Infant mortality cab also be significantly reduced using the same means as reducing maternal mortality, namely increasing access to health facilities and skilled health attendants.

7 The bills will exacerbate the suffering of rape victims by encouraging them to commit the crime of abortion using abortifacients.

Rape is a terrible ordeal and victims compassion, justice, and assistance. Many women who become pregnant often resort to abortion, compounding their suffering with the additional burden of guilt that comes with murdering their own children. The RH bill’s proposed solution, however, making available so-called “emergency contraception,” or EC, is also a form of abortion, and does not address the root causes of rape.

Many of the bill’s proponents will often cite the WHO, saying that EC do not interrupt pregnancy and are therefore not a method of abortion. But this is clever semantics, since the WHO has redefined pregnancy as beginning when the fertilized egg has implanted in the uterus. This definition is entirely different from the concept used by the Philippine Constitution, which mandates that the unborn be protected from conception. Medical science is also nearly unanimous in defining conception as beginning at fertilization, not at implantation.

Furthermore, studies have shown that increased access to EC does not reduce unintended pregnancies or abortions. An analysis by Raymond, Trussell and Polis of 23 studies published between 1998 and 2006 measured the effect of increased access to EC on its actual use, unintended pregnancy, and abortion. None of the 23 found a reduction in unintended pregnancies or abortions following increased access to EC.22 The study also found:

  • Sixteen months after 18,000 sexually active women in a health district in Scotland were each given five packets of EC, researchers concluded: “No effect on abortion rates was demonstrated with advance provision of EC. The results of this study suggest that wide-spread distribution of advanced supplies of EC through health services may not be an effective way to reduce the incidence of unintended pregnancy in the UK.”23
  • In a San Francisco Bay area study of over 2,000 women randomly assigned to three groups each with varying access to EC, 7-8% of women in each group were pregnant in only six months. Over 80% of the women were also using another form of contraception. The study concluded: “We did not observe a difference in pregnancy rates in women with either pharmacy access or advance provision [of EC]; … Previous studies also failed to show significant differences in pregnancy or abortion rates among women with advance provisions of EC.”24
  • “Another commonly held view for which there is no documented evidence is that improving knowledge about and access to Emergency Contraception will reduce the number of teenage pregnancies. … Experience of use so far does not give any evidence of effectiveness. Prescribing rates of the morning-after pill have multiplied steadily in Scotland while there has been no observed decline in the rate of teenage pregnancies or abortions.”25
  • “Despite the fact that emergency contraceptive pills (ECP) have become easily available across the country during recent years, abortion numbers continue to rise in Sweden, especially in the young age groups (<25).”26
  • Pharmacies were allowed to dispense EC without a prescription from February 1998 to June 1999 through the Washington State Pilot Project. Pregnancy and abortion rates in Washington state initially dropped and then increased slightly the following year. Between 1996 and 2000, however, the decline in Washington state (at 3%) was actually smaller than the decline in the abortion rate nationally (which was 5%).27

8 Contraceptives will not decrease the incidence of STDs and may
actually increase it
A number of studies have linked increased access to contraceptives to an increase in STDs. These include:

  • Tyden’s study in Sweden also found that between 1995 and 2001, Chlamydia infections rose 50% overall in Sweden and 60% among the young.28
  • In a 2003 study, David Paton found that between 1999 and 2001, with improved access to family planning clinics in the United Kingdom (teen visits rose over 23%), the number of sexually active teens rose almost 20%, and STD rates rose 15.8%.29
  • A. Williams noted that “In Scotland there has been a doubling of the rates of Herpes and [Gonorrhea] and a four-fold increase in Chlamydia in the past ten years (1993-2003),” despite a three-fold increase in the use of EC and greatly increased access to contraception.30

9 Condom programs will not lower the incidence in AIDS/HIV cases and may in fact increase it

In 2004, Dr. Rene Josef Bullecer, Director of AIDS-Free Philippines and Executive Director of Human Life International (HLI) Visayas-Mindanao, observed that:

“The discrepancy in the infection rates between the two countries, Thailand with severe condom- oriented programs and the Philippines without, has continued and only grown wider. As of August 2003 there were 899,000 HIV/AIDS cases documented in Thailand and approximately 125,000 deaths attributed to the disease. These numbers are many times those projected by the WHO (60,000-80,000 cases) in 1991. These numbers contrast sharply with those of the Philippines where, as of September 30, 2003, there were 1,946 AIDS cases resulting in 260 deaths. This is only a mere fraction of the number of cases (80,000-90,000) that the WHO projected would be reached by 2000.”31

The huge discrepancy continues, with Thailand having 610,000 [low estimate: 410 000; high estimate: 880,000] people living with HIV and death according to the UNAIDS/WHO. In contrast, the Philippines has only 8,300 [low: 6,000; high: 11,000] persons living with HIV. The numbers are even
more striking considering that the Philippines has a much larger population than Thailand.32
There is also more evidence from other countries that questions the effectiveness of condoms in the fight against HIV/AIDS. A study in Uganda by Kajubi et al. (2005) concluded that condoms were not effective at lowering HIV infections: “In this study, gains in condom use seem to have been offset by increases in the number of sex partners. Prevention interventions in generalized epidemics need to promote all aspects of sexual risk reduction to slow HIV transmission.”33
Dr Edward Green of the Harvard AIDS Prevention Research Project, in his book Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries, contested the efficacy of condoms and HIV counseling and testing, the preferred prevention strategies of Western donor nations and the U.N.
Green said:

“The largely medical solutions funded by major donors have had little impact in Africa, the continent hardest hit by AIDS. Instead, relatively simple, low-cost behavioral change programs–stressing increased monogamy and delayed sexual activity for young people–have made the greatest headway in fighting or preventing the disease’s spread. Ugandans pioneered these simple, sustainable interventions and achieved significant results.”34

Tim Allen and Suzette Heald, in a comparison of AIDS policy in Uganda and Botswana, also noted:

“Promotion of condoms at an early stage proved to be counter-productive in Botswana, whereas the lack of condom promotion during the 1980s and early 1990s contributed to the relative
success of behaviour change strategies in Uganda.”35

10 The RH bills are based on an erroneous analysis of population and family size as related to poverty

Although no longer as heavily emphasized by their authors and proponents, the RH bills seek to address poverty though population control, assuming that poverty is caused by a large, growing population and large family size. The scientific evidence, however, shows otherwise.

Dr. Roberto de Vera, writing in a primer on the RH bill, noted that, “Population growth has little or no direct effect on per capita GDP growth. Thus there is no basis for a policy that aims to reduce population growth to raise per capita GDP growth.”36 He then cited several studies to support his
assertion:
Nobel prize winner Simon Kuznets’s pioneering study contained in his 1966 book Modern Economic Growth: Rate, Structure and Spread (pp. 67-68) showed that “[n]o clear association appears to exist in the present sample of countries, or is likely to exist in other developed countries, between rates of growth of population and of product per capita.”
Other studies have confirmed Kuznets’s findings, showing no clear link between population growth and economic growth (or poverty). Here are the findings for five studies:

  1. the 1992 Ross Levine and David Renelt study of the relationship between growth and its determinants found no significant effect of population growth on economic growth;
  2. the 1994 Jeff King and Lant Pritchett study arrived at a similar finding where they allowed the effect of population on economic growth to vary according to the level of development and resource scarcity;
  3. in a 1996 review of the population-growth-poverty relationship, Dennis Ahlburg points out that studies have shown population growth has little or no effect on poverty;
  4. in a 2004 study examining the determinants of long-term growth, Gernot Dopelhoffer, Ronald Miller, and Xavier Sala-I-Martin, found that average annual population growth from 1960-1990 was not robustly correlated with economic growth;
  5. the 2007 Eric Hanushek and Ludger Wommann study found that total fertility rates, which can be seen as an alternative measure of population growth, did not have a statistically significant association with population growth.

Similar conclusions have been arrived at by the US National Research Council in 1986 and in the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) Consultative Meeting of Economists in 1992.37 In the same primer, Dr. de Vera also explained that, “Large families are poor not because they are large but because most of the heads of these poor families have limited schooling which prevents them from getting good paying jobs. Moreover, a 1994 study shows that parents of poor families want the children they beget. These findings show that there is no basis for having a population management policy that raises economic growth to reduce poverty.38
In any case, it is apparent that fertility in the Philippines is fast declining and will soon be below replacement level even without population control measures. This was the conclusion of Fr. Gregory Gaston. formerly of the Pontifical Council for the Family at the Vatican, who wrote the following in an
article published in 2007:

“The UN Population Division figures indicate that it is not an exaggeration to say that as early as now the Philippine Total Fertility Rate [children per woman] is already dangerously low. Whereas in the early 1970’s the average Filipina had six children, today she has around three, and in another 20 years, only two. Shortly after 2020, or just fifteen years from now, the
Philippine TFR will sink below its replacement level of around 2.29.”39

11 HB 96 is unduly coercive and violates freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and freedom of religion

Section 22 (e) of the proposed bill HB 96, for example, lists the following as a prohibited act: “Any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act.” This provision is overly broad and “disinformation” could (and most probably will) be construed as prohibiting the expression of objections to the Bill, such as what we are presently doing. This provision is is obviously going to be used to suppress dissent, and is an undue restriction of freedom of speech. It has no place in any of the laws of a democratic nation.
Section 22, number 3, requires doctors and health workers to provide “health care services,” but since the bill classifies abortifacient contraceptives and other artificial contraceptive devices and methods as essential medicines, these are presumably included. If they refuse to do so on religious grounds, they must still refer those who want to use such devices or methods to another person who will dispense them. Conscientious objectors are thereby required to cooperate in such acts, and if they refuse, they are slapped penalties ranging from one to six months imprisonment and a fine of P10,000-P50,000, as specified in Section 23 of the proposed bill. HB 96 eliminates any choice for conscientious objectors and makes no room for their legitimate concerns.
Section 18, on the other hand, mandates that employers must provide family planning services (or information on where to obtain these), presumably including abortifacient contraceptives, to their employees. Employers, therefore, are not given any choice despite the fact that distribution of these
abortifacients and contraceptives may be against their conscience.

12 Value-neutral sex education involving contraceptives will not reduce unplanned pregnancies or encourage responsible sexual behavior.

The various versions of the RH bills mandate several years of mandatory, “age-appropriate” sex education for young children. The training these children will receives will include family planning methods (including contraceptives), population and development, and children’s and women’s rights.
As harmless as these topics may sound, they are actually dangerous and counterproductive. The topic on family planning methods, for example, will include explicit training in the use of contraceptives as these are defined as being family planning methods. Many studies have shown that so-called comprehensive sex education programs that involves training in the use of contraceptives are ineffective in reducing unplanned pregnancies or irresponsible sexual behavior. In fact, such programs often increase the incidence of both.
In 2009, Meg Wiggins et al., published research evaluating the effectiveness of the U.K.’s Young People’s Development Programme (YPDP) in reducing teenage pregnancy, substance use, and other outcomes. The program involved giving teenagers sex education and advice about contraception. Of those in the program, 16 percent became pregnant, compared with just 6 percent in a comparison group. The study concluded that: No evidence was found that the intervention was effective in delaying heterosexual experience
or reducing pregnancies, drunkenness, or cannabis use. Some results suggested an adverse effect. Although methodological limitations may at least partly explain these findings, any further implementation of such interventions in the UK should be only within randomised
trials.40
To be sure, the bills that have been filed at the Philippine Congress also include values formation, sexual abstinence, and proscription and hazards of abortion, but studies indicate that if these topics are taught along with contraceptive use and other value-neutral topics, they become ineffective presumably because of the conflicting and confusing value messages that such education transmits to young students.
John B. Jemmott III et al., for example, compared the effectiveness of abstinence-only, safer-sex only, comprehensive sex education, to evaluate the efficacy of an abstinence-only intervention in preventing sexual involvement in young adolescents. The study, involving 682 African-American students in grades 6 and 7, found that students in the abstinence-only intervention had lower sexual activity even over time than those in the control group. The study concluded that, “Theory-based abstinence-only interventions may have an important role in preventing adolescent sexual involvement.”41

Other studies support this conclusion. For example, Stan Weed et al., examined seventh graders in northern Virginia, and found that students who received abstinence education were half as likely as non-participants to initiate sexual activity one year after the program.42

Recommendations
Rejecting the the so-called reproductive health bills is only a part of what must be done to protect and uphold the sanctity of human life. The Ang Kapatiran Party also proposes a number of measures that will promote and protect life, our families, our rights, and improve the quality of life in our nation.

1. Clear and unambiguous legal definition on the beginning of life and punitive provisions to protect the unborn.

Although the Philippine Constitution mandates the protection of the unborn from conception, there is a need for further legislation to fully implement the Constitution’s provisions. To eliminate any possible ambiguity, we recommend laws that explicitly define conception as beginning at fertilization, as well as explicitly define the unborn as legally recognized persons with human rights and dignity. We note that such legislation has already been filed at the 15th Congress in the form of HB 13, the Protection Of The Unborn Child Act Of 2010, by Rep. Roilo Golez of Parañaque City. Its abstract states that the bill, “aims to remedy the oversight in the statutes by recognizing that the unborn has a basic right to life and by extending the mantle of legal recognition and protection to it by defining and clarifying the basic concepts and principle of fetal development.”43
2 Stricter laws against abortions and better enforcement of these laws

Abortion is already a crime in the Philippines, but there is a need to further enhance the penal laws on this matter. We recommend stricter and more comprehensive enforcement of anti-abortion laws and increasing the punishment for abortion one degree higher than at present.

3 Ban on abortifacient contraceptives

Abortifacient contraceptives are already available in the Philippines and may be responsible for thousands of unrecorded deaths of unborn children. We recommend legislation that explicitly bans the sale and use of abortifacient contraceptives, as well as punishes those who engage in the traffic of such
deadly substances and their accomplices.

4 Warning labels on dangerous non-abortifacient contraceptives

There are other non-abortifacient contraceptive methods (such as condoms) that nevertheless pose risks to those who rely on them because they are inherently prone to failure. If these cannot be removed from the market, then they should be required to carry labels warning users of the probability of failure, their unreliability, as well as any other possible side-effects and risks that they may pose to unsuspecting users.

5 Chastity, values, and abstinence education

Many social ills such as unplanned pregnancy, rape and incest are the result of the breakdown of public morals. This situation can be addressed by consistent and integrated education in chastity, moral values, abstinence from sex until marriage, and fidelity in marriage. Such education should be offered not only to students that are ready to receive it but to parents and married couples as well. No one, however, should be forced to receive such education against their conscience or their religious beliefs.

6 Natural Family Planning

There are certain situations where married couples must use family planning. We recommend that the government undertake measures to promote the safest and most effective means to do so, namely modern natural Family Planning (NFP) methods. NFP is the only method that has absolutely no
adverse medical side-effects, is practically 100% effective when used correctly and properly, and doesnot violate moral or religious tenets of the nation’s major religious groups.

About the Ang Kapatiran Party
The Ang Kapatiran Party (AKP) is an accredited national political party that espouses a pro-God, prolife platform as an antidote to the traditional personality-based parties that have dominated and debased Philippine politics for decades.  The party was founded by Reynaldo “Nandy” Pacheco in 2004 and was accredited as a national political by the Commission on Elections that same year. It participated in the 2007 and 2010 elections, fielding candidates for local and national positions.

AKP Media Contacts for this document:

Emmanuel R. Amador
0917-3249276
manny.amador@gmail.com
Ma. Andrea “Baby” Mendigo
0917-8525268
masm912@yahoo.com

References

1 Walter L. Larimore, MD; Joseph B. Stanford, MD, MSPH, “Postfertilization Effects of Oral Contraceptives and Their Relationship to Informed Consent,” Arch Fam Med. 2000;9:126-133. (Abstract and full paper at
http://archfami.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/9/2/126).

2 Stanford JB, Mikolajczyk RT, “Mechanisms of action of intrauterine devices: update and estimation of postfertilization effects,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

3 CVS/Pharmacy (http://www.cvs.com)

4 HB&A-ARO Research Group, “Filipino Family Survey,” conducted December 2009, made public January 2010. The results of the study can be downloaded at http://prolife.org.ph/home/uploads/Filipino%20Family
%20Survey%20v.2.1-1.ppt.

5 Mahar Mangahas, “Business groups work for RH compromise,” Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 20, 2009.

6 Roberto de Ocampo , “Kill ‘Bill’?”, Philippine Daily Inquirer, November 27, 2009. The article can be viewed online at http://opinion.inquirer.net/inquireropinion/columns/view/20091127-238839/Kill-Bill.

7 Boonstra H et al., Abortion in Women’s Lives, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006, available online at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2006/05/04/AiWL.pdf, pp. 6-7.

8 Conforth, Tracee, “Contraceptive Effectiveness,” available online at
http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/birthcontrol/a/effectivenessbc.htm.

9 Ibid.

10 Boonstra H et al., Abortion in Women’s Lives, New York: Guttmacher Institute, 2006, available online at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/2006/05/04/AiWL.pdf, p. 7

11 Peter Arcidiacono et al, “Habit Persistence and Teen Sex: Could Increased Access to Contraception have Unintended Consequences for Teen Pregnancies?” (Oct. 3, 2005), p.29, available at http://www.econ.duke.edu/~psarcidi/addicted13.pdf.

12 David Paton, “The Economics of Family Planning and Underage Conceptions,” Journal of Health Economics, 21.2 (March 2002): 207-225; abstract available at http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-4537PJR-3/2/7b0ac0ed4b84065fae3119e1663e50bc.

13 Lawrence Finer, “Trends in Premarital Sex in the United States, 1954–2003,” Public Health Reports, Volume 122 (January–February 2007): pp. 77-78. The study can be found at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/2007/01/29/PRH-Vol-122-Finer.pdf.

14 Douglas Kirby, “Reflections on Two Decades of Research on Teen Sexual Behavior and Pregnancy,” Journal of School Health 69.3 (March 1999).

15 Akerlof, G.A., Yellen, J.L. and M.L. Katz “An Analysis of Out-of-Wedlock Child-bearing in the United States.” Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 111, No. 2 (May, 1996), pp. 277-317.

16 Jones RK, Darroch JE and Henshaw SK, Contraceptive use among U.S. women having abortions in 2000–2001, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health, 2002, 34(6):294–303; available online at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_induced_abortion.pdf.

17 Edgardh, K. et al. Adolescent Sexual Health in Sweden, Sex Trans Inf 78 (2002): 352-6, available at http://sti.bmjjournals.com/cgi/content/full/78/5/352.

18 M. New, “Analyzing the Effect of State Legislation on the Incidence of Abortion Among Minors,” Heritage Foundation Data Analysis Report #07-01 (2007), available online at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/CDA07-01.cfm.

19 M. New, “Using Natural Experiments to Analyze the Impact of State Legislation on the Incidence of Abortion,” Heritage Center for Data Analysis Report #06-01 (January 23, 2006); available at http://www.heritage.org/Research/Family/cda06-01.cfm.

20 National Demographic and Health Survey 2008, National Statistics Office (NSO), December 2008, Manila, Philippines (available online at http://philippines.usaid.gov/resources/key_documents/NDHS_2008.pdf).
21 Francisco Tatad, “Revised: The Truth and Half-Truths About Reproductive Health,” http://franciscotatad.blogspot.com/2008/09/truth-and-half-truths-about.html.

22 E. Raymond et al., “Population Effect of Increased Access to Emergency Contraceptive Pills,” Obstetrics & Gynecology 109 (2007): 181-8.

23 A. Glasier et al., “Advanced Provision of Emergency Contraception does not Reduce Abortion Rates,” Contraception 69.5 (May 2004): 361-6, available online at http://www.cwfa.org/images/content/scotland0905.pdf.

24 T. Raine et al., “Direct Access to Emergency Contraception through Pharmacies and Effect on Unintended Pregnancy and STIs,” Journal of the American Medical Association 293 (2005): 54-62, available online at
http://www.dph.sf.ca.us/sfcityclinic/providers/Directaccesscontraception.pdf.

25 A. Williams, “The Morning After Pill,” Scottish Council of Human Bioethics (Nov. 2005) (www.schb.org.uk, click on “Publications” then “Sexual Health”).

26 T. Tyden et al., “No reduced number of abortions despite easily available emergency contraceptive pills,” Lakartidningen 99.47 (2002): 4730-2, 4735 (abstract online at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi? cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12523048&dopt=Citation; visited Feb. 16, 2007).

27 J. Gardner et al., “Increasing Access to Emergency Contraception Through Community Pharmacies: Lessons from Washington State,” Family Planning Perspectives 33 (2001): 172-5, available online at
http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/journals/3317201.html.

28 T. Tyden et al., “No reduced number of abortions despite easily available emergency contraceptive pills,” Lakartidningen 99.47 (2002): 4730-2, 4735 (abstract at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?
cmd=Retrieve&db=PubMed&list_uids=12523048&dopt=Citation.

29 David Paton, “Random Behavior or Rational Choice? Family Planning, Teenage Pregnancy and STIs,” (Nov.2003), available online at http://www.swan.ac.uk/economics/res2004/program/papers/Paton.pdf.

30 A. Williams, “The Morning After Pill,” Scottish Council on Human Bioethics (Nov. 2005).

31 Rene Josef Bullecer, “Telling the Truth: AIDS Rates for Thailand and the Philippines,” cited in “Family values versus Safe Sex,” Population Research Institute, PRI Review, 29 November, 1999, available online at
http://www.pop.org/00000000207/family-values-vs-safe-sex.

32 UNAIDS/WHO Epidemiological Fact Sheets on HIV and AIDS, 2008 Update: Core data on epidemiology and response, UNAIDS/WHO Working Group on Global HIV/AIDS and STI Surveillance, December 2008.

33 Kajubi, et al., “Increasing Condom Use Without Reducing HIV Risk: Results of a Controlled Community Trial in Uganda,” Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, Volume 40, Number 1, September 1 2005,
abstract available at http://journals.lww.com/jaids/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2005&issue=09010&article=00013&type=abstract

34 Edward Green, Rethinking AIDS Prevention: Learning from Successes in Developing Countries, (2003).

35 Tim Allen and Suzette Heald, “HIV/AIDS Policy in Africa: What has Worked in Uganda and what has Failed in Botswana?”, Journal of International Development, November 2004, Volume 16, Issue 8, pp. 1141-1154.

36 Dr. Roberto de Vera , A Primer on the proposed Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood, and Population Development Consolidated Bill, September 11, 2008.

37 Ibid.

38 Ibid.

39 Rev. Fr. Gregory D. Gaston, STD, “World Population Collapse: Lessons for the Philippines,” in Familia et Vita, vol. XII (2007) no. 2, pp. 84-113, paragraph no. 22.

40 Meg Wiggins et al., “Health outcomes of youth development programme in England: prospective matched comparison study,” British Medical Journal, July 2009, BMJ 2009;339:b2534, available online at
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/339/jul07_2/b2534.

41 John B. Jemmott III PhD; Loretta S. Jemmott, PhD, RN; Geoffrey T. Fong, PhD, “Efficacy of a Theory-Based Abstinence-Only Intervention Over 24 Months : A Randomized Controlled Trial With Young Adolescents ,” Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, 2010;164(2): pp. 152-159. Abstract available online at:
http://archpedi.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/164/2/152.

42 Stan Weed et al., “An Abstinence Program’s Impact on Cognitive Mediators and Sexual Initiation,” American Journal of Health Behavior, Vol. 31, No. 1 (2008), pp. 60-73.

43 AN ACT PROVIDING FOR THE SAFETY AND PROTECTION OF THE UNBORN CHILD AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES, summary and abstract available online at
http://www.congress.gov.ph/legis/search/hist_show.php?
save=0&journal=&switch=0&bill_no=HB00013&congress=15

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.