NGO calls for passage of Reproductive Health Bill
Koronadal City (6 September) -- The Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD) and The FORUM for Family Planning and Development, Inc. (FORUM) believe that more than ever, now is the time to approve House Bill 5043 or the "Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2009" and its counterpart Senate Bill 3122.
Both non-government organizations, together with the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) and a growing number of academe, youth, business groups, civil society, non-government and community-based organizations supportive of the passage of the said measure are extremely sad that after more than 18 years since similar measures were filed in Congress, the bill is still not passed.
The enactment of a law that will ensure education and reproductive health services to Filipinos especially to the poor could have lessen the impact of natural disasters such as typhoon Ondoy. Had we have a law on reproductive health and population development thirty years earlier, we could have had a more manageable population. We could have less families living in high risk areas such as mountain slopes and near the rivers which have been transformed into housing areas.
Ben de Leon, FORUM President said, "If our lawmakers and the government would only have the political will to pass a law on reproductive health that will make available RH education and will ensure that all methods of family planning are available, then we could have had an effective population management program."
Meanwhile, according to Ramon San Pascual, PLCPD Executive Director, Ondoy has only highlighted the lack of integrated policies that cover land use, population management program, climate change and maternal health.
San Pascual said, "while we do not claim that the passage of the reproductive health bill is the only solution to problems brought by natural calamities, we strongly believe, access to reproductive health education and services could have mitigated the adverse effects of natural calamities such as Ondoy and would even mitigate adverse effects of climate change." (ac agad PIA 12) [top]