UN agency lauds Duterte’s EO on fam­ily plan­ning

Manila Bulletin - - Front Page -

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.

In­formed choice

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)

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