DOH affirms principle of responsible parenthood

January 14, 2011 1:58 am 

MANILA, Jan. 13 – Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona affirmed on Thursday the position of the government to support responsible parenthood by providing the Filipino people with necessary information that would be helpful in raising their families.

”The government must intervene by providing information, so that families can make informed choices about the number of children that they want and services so that they can achieve the family size they desire,” Ona said during the resumption of the Senate committee hearing on Reproductive Health Bill.

Ona said the DOH is supporting the effort of Congress to come up with a law that would serve as effective national policy in promoting responsible parenthood.

”Although the government has limited resources, it nevertheless still has the responsibility to assist couples in achieving their fertility goals in the same way that it has the responsibility to provide education, health and other social services,” Ona said.

Advocates of the controversial RH bill as well as groups opposing it trooped at the Senate as the Senate committee on health and demography jointly with the committees on youth, women and family relations and finance conducted second hearing on the Senate Bill 2378, an act providing for a national policy on Reproductive Health and Population and Development.

Despite spending almost five hours listening to the more than 25 resource persons, Senator Pia Cayetano promised to exhaust the issues to get all the information needed in defending the Senate version of the bill filed by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago.

”There is no time frame in finishing the discussion. I want to get all the information from different sectors so that I’ll be ready when I sponsor the bill on the floor,” Cayetano, chairperson of the committee, said.

While the controversial bill is getting support in the House of Representatives, Cayetano is hoping to get majority number in the Senate which remains divided on the issue.

”I don’t bother about head count. My job continues regardless of the head count. Anyway, the bill is moving along very well,” she said.

Cayetano said she plans to invite in the next hearing the officials of the Department of Education, along with the resource persons, during Thursday’s hearing which ended at 6:30 p.m. (PNA)



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