The population officer of the province of South Cotabato spelled out the rationale behind the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill or House Bill 4244 during the press conference in conjunction with the National Women’s Month Celebration held yesterday at the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Region XII office, Koronadal City.

Population Officer Floyd Maglangit of the South Cotabato Commission on Population (POPCOM) said there are three (3) reasons why the RH Bill is being pushed. The first, he said, is that the government would like the couples to have an informed choice by providing them the comprehensive RH services and information . After this, it is the women and the couples who will decide their family planning preferences, he further said.

The second, Maglangit continued, is the right to health which advances thIs right and improves the health of women, couples and individuals.

The third, he added, is the sustainable human development which fosters development by addressing high fertility and population growth rates, especially among the poor, which exacerbates poverty.

With an RH law, RH programs shall be established to increase awareness and access to appropriate , affordable quality RH services, Maglangit pointed out. Another RH program to be in place, according to the population officer, is to provide accurate education and counseling on the full range of legal and medically-safe FP methods.

Other RH programs are maternal care services and prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications, he further said. The male involvement in RH and RH needs of adolescents will be addressed by the RH programs.

The RH Bill also provides programs for the prevention and treatment of diseases of reproductive systems as well as education in information on human sexuality and responsible parenthood in schools and workplaces.

The bill also stipulates that information and services addressing RH needs shall be provided to the poor, senior citizens, women in prostitution, differently-abled persons, women and children in war crisis situations.

Likewise, the bill will ensure adequate and full range of supplies, facilities and equipment. (OTS/PIA 12)


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