UN agency lauds Duterte’s EO on family planning
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) lauded yesterday President Duterte’s issuance of Executive Order No. 12 which supports the full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law, saying the move is a major push for the government’s family planning program.
“The full and immediate im-
plementation of the RPRH Law is critically important for the government to deliver on its family planning program, which has been identified by President Duterte as one of his priorities when he assumed office,” said Klaus Beck, UNFPA Country Representative.
Beck said the EO, which strengthens the family planning scheme as an RPRH component, will contribute to the Philippines’ commitment to fulfill the 2030 sustainable development agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which ultimately aims to leave no one behind, especially the most vulnerable.
“It is critical to realizing reproductive rights, including the right to choose freely and responsibly if and when to have children, reducing maternal mortality and the realization of the development goals on health, gender and poverty,” Beck added.
The EO, Beck said will lend new momentum to the implementation of the RPRH Law as it demonstrates the highest level of support to the measure.
The EO also clearly defines the role of various government units in enforcing the law and provides clear instructions on the funding needed to implement it, as well as the accountability mechanism to ensure that the RPRH Law and the informed choice for family planning and access to commodities are assured, Beck noted.
He however expressed concern over the remaining challenge posed by the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order on the registration and certification of a list of contraceptives.
“The order has been in effect for more than a year now and could adversely impact on the supply of contraceptives in the country if not addressed soon,” he said.
UNFPA said it remains fully committed to supporting the government and civil society partners to ensure that access to quality reproductive health services, including family planning, is available, especially for the poorest and disadvantaged communities who need these services most.
MODERN FAMILY PLANNING – Mary Ann Reyes is surrounded by her four children – aged one to seven years old – in the family’s shanty in Estero de Vitas in Capulong, Tondo. Reyes, who has been on implant contraceptive for six months, and her husband Raffy have agreed that it was high time for them to practice family planning to prevent their brood from getting any bigger. President Rodrigo R. Duterte recently signed an Executive Order implementing Modern Family Planning by 2018, with the government hoping to reduce poverty to 13 percent by the end of Duterte’s term in 2022. (Camille Ante)