PLCDP lauds DOH, NIT, civil society for commitment to RH LaW

April 9, 2015 12:51 pm 

BAGUIO CITY, April 8 -– The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) has commended the Department of Health (DOH) and other government and private organizations for their commitment in pursuing the Reproductive Health (RH) Law during its first anniversary Wednesday, April 8.

In a press statement, the PLCPD likewise prodded stakeholders to do their share in fully implementing the year old law.

The PLCPD is a voluntary organization composed of Philippine Congressmen and Senators who, together with other patrons, are advocating and pursuing policies advancing population and human development programs in the country.

The organization lauded the DOH for tirelessly working for the passage of the RH Law since it was first filed in Congress in 2001, especially for creating the National Implementation Team (NIT) which has not stopped working since the Supreme Court declared the law was “not unconstitutional” April 8 last year during its summer sessions in Baguio City.

The PLCDP called on advocates to “work together for its RH Law’s full and meaningful implementation.”

The call came as the organization noted that there are still reproductive health related issues still plaguing the country and stunting the development of the Philippines.

It cited the 2011 Family Health survey which showed that maternal mortality ratio was still 221 deaths for every 100,000 live births a far cry from the 62 deaths per 100,000 live births which the national government targets.

Another serious concern the PLCDP mentioned was teenage pregnancy.

The 2011 National Health and Demographic Survey showed that 11 percent of girls aged 15 to 19 were already mothers while another 2.6 percent were pregnant with their first child.

The PLCDP also said that the 2013 Young Adult Fertility and Sexuality Survey revealed that a staggering 32 percent of Filipino youths were sexually active with 78 percent of them not using any contraceptive device during their first sexual encounter.

“HIV cases in the country increase at a ‘fast and furious’ rate, with 536 new cases diagnosed January 2015 or 18 new cases per day according to the HIV/AIDS and ART Registry of the Philippines (HARP) January 2015 Report,” the press statement added.

The PLCDP stressed that the full and meaningful implementation of the law will address some of these concerns.

“Maternal and child health will be improved by reaching women and couples with unmet need for family planning and ensuring their access to family planning, and making sure that all births are attended by skilled birth attendants and are delivered in appropriate facilities that are able to provide at least basic emergency obstetric care.

Teenage pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections may be prevented through serious information and education and public awareness programs, including age-appropriate sexuality and RH education in schools,” the organization added.

For its part, the PLCDP vowed to continue its support for reproductive health through policy advocacy in Congress. (PNA)

LAP/SAM BAUTISTA

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