DOH earmarks P1.7 B for implementation of RH Law
Sheila Crisostomo (The Philippine Star) - January 11, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) has earmarked around P1.7 billion for the planned full implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law this year.

In an interview, former health secretary Esperanza Cabral emphasized the budget is not solely for the procurement of contraceptives but for other aspect of the RPRH law as well.

“The law has many aspects – maternal health, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, adolescent reproductive health and sexuality education. All of that will have to be implemented,” she said.

The initial phase of the campaign involves educating local government units on the provisions of the law and on implementing rules and regulations.

“We have to spread this to our local counterparts. We’ll educate them what is RPRH law as modified by the Supreme Court decision,” Cabral, chair of the National Implementation Team for the RPRH law, said. The information campaign will also cover communities and schools.

Cabral added they would coordinate closely with the Department of Education to ensure that the provisions on school-based education are implemented.

Asked about the expected opposition from the Catholic Church, she said the DOH is prepared for it.

“We are prepared to explain. We’ll keep on explaining although we know they may not understand. But this is the law so we will implement the law. If they want to revise the law, they can file a bill,” she maintained.

Juan Antonio Perez III, executive director of the Commission on Population, the DOH and PopCom would also be including “sub-dermal implants” in the list of contraceptives.

But he clarified that the promotion of natural scientific methods of family planning would also be intensified.

Perez said the goal is to reduce the country’s total fertility rate from the current three percent, or three children per woman, to 2.1 percent, or two kids per woman.

He added that while the country’s population growth rate of 1.9 percent is going down, the decline is very slow.

CABRAL CATHOLIC CHURCH DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH ESPERANZA CABRAL JUAN ANTONIO PEREZ LAW NATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION TEAM RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SUPREME COURT
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