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PIA Press Release

Ifugao chief exec says RH is key to development

by Vency D. Bulayungan

BANAUE, Ifugao (22 September) -- The Reproductive Health (RH) ordinance of the province is a strategy to development. So said Ifugao Governor Teddy Baguilat during the press conference in an RH forum held recently at the Banaue Hotel here.

Baguilat said that the RH ordinance crafted by his predecessor, former Gov. Glenn Prudenciano when he was the Vice Governor in 2005, can be a tool to alleviate the economic condition of the poor Ifugao families especially those with big number of children.

Baguilat related how parents would approach him seeking scholarships or employment of their children. "They would plead assistance because they have many children and their economic status cannot answer the needs of their children," he said.

Sponsored by the Provincial Advocacy Team under the Population and Sustainable Development Component of the UNFPA's 6th country program, the forum was able to seek the support of the municipal officials to adopt the same in their localities. To date, only the municipality of Asipulo has a similar ordinance.

The ordinance, which was co authored by Board members Jospeh Odan, Nora Dinamling and Maritess Tumapang, provides a legal framework for the institutionalization of a comprehensive RH and responsible parenthood program, not only at the provincial level but also the municipalities through the establishment of health programs that shall ensure efficient and effective delivery of information and services on maternal and child health, family planning, STD/HIV/AIDS, VAWC, PMAC, Sexuality Education among others.

Ifugao is the first in the Cordillera and the second in the entire country to have an RH Ordinance.

In a related development, the Provincial Advocacy team here shared its best practices in a workshop on documenting RH legislation experiences held recently in Manila.

Roy Dimayuga, the Provincial Coordinator of the United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA) here shared that the task of the team in lobbying to the legislative and executive branches of the LGUs here to support the different programs for the welfare of the Ifugao family were successful.

"We are very lucky to have local leaders here who are very supportive of our programs

Dimayuga said that with the good working relationship of the implementing agencies and other non government organizations, the task of advocating made it easier. "We regularly conduct dialogue, lobbying and assisting the authors to come up with the said ordinance that will eventually be replicated in the 11 municipalities here," he said.

Conducted by the Commission on Population National Office, the workshop aims gather replicable strategies of doing advocacy work and assess effectiveness of legislative advocacy as a strategy of the UNFPA's 6th Country Program.

The other provinces who attended the said workshop were Mt. Province, Bohol, Olongapo,

The Provincial Advocacy Team here is headed by the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) under the Population Development component of the program. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]

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