UP School Of Economics : Population, Poverty, Politics and the Reproductive Health Bill

By: Ernesto M. Pernia, Stella Alabastro-Quimbo, Maria Joy V. Abrenica, Ruperto P. Alonzo, Agustin L. Arcenas, Arsenio M. Balisacan, Dante B. Canlas, Joseph J. Capuno, Ramon L. Clarete, Rolando A. Danao, Emmanuel S. de Dios, Aleli dela Paz-Kraft, Benjamin E. Diokno, Emmanuel F. Esguerra, Raul V. Fabella, Maria Socorro Gochoco-Bautista, Teresa J. Ho, Dennis Claire S. Mapa, Felipe M. Medalla, Maria Nimfa F. Mendoza, Solita C. Monsod, Toby Melissa C. Monsod, Fidelina Natividad-Carlos, Cayetano W. Paderanga, Gerardo P. Sicat, Orville C. Solon, Edita A. Tan, and Gwendolyn R. Tecson.

University of the Philippines
SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS
11August 2008

Population, Poverty, Politicsand the Reproductive Health Bill1

The population issue has long been dead and buried in developed and most developing countries, including historically Catholic countries. That it continues to be debated heatedly in our country merely testifies to the lack of progress in policy and action. The Catholic Church hierarchy has maintained its traditional stance against modern family planning (FP) methods, particularly modern (also referred to as “artificial”) contraceptives. On the other hand, the State acknowledges the difficulties posed for development by rapid population growth, especially among the poorest Filipinos. But it has been immobilized from effectively addressing the issue by the Catholic hierarchy’s hard-line stance, as well as the tendency of some politicians to cater to the demands of well-organised and impassioned single-issue groups for the sake of expediency. Caught between a hard Church and a soft State are the overwhelming majority of Filipinos who affirm the importance of helping women and couples control the size of their families and the need for government to give budgetary support for modern FP methods.

Renewed impetus to the debate has been given by the public and political interest in the pending bill (HB No. 17) on “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development” (RH Bill, for short). Unfortunately, serious discussion has been hampered by the lack of reliable information and the proclivity of some parties in the debate to use epithets that label the bill as “pro-abortion”, “anti-life”, and “immoral”.

There are a few aspects of the bill to which some groups have expressed strong objections, which we can understand. Among these are whether the State should subsidize family planning by the unmarried; whether reproductive health and sex education in public schools should be compulsory, and at what grade-level it should start. Moreover, the notion of two children being the “ideal family size” (Section 13 of the RH Bill) may be difficult to defend.

But the main thrust of the bill – “enabl(ing) couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to carry out their decisions” – is something we strongly and unequivocally support.

In what follows, we explain why.

The real score on population and poverty

First, the experience from across Asia indicates that a population policy cum government-funded FP program has been a critical complement to sound economic policy and poverty reduction. Moreover, the weaker is the state’s ability to tax and mobilize resources (including spending on the right priorities), the greater the negative impact on economic development of a rapidly growing population, which in every developing country is largely accounted for by the least urbanized, least educated, and poorest segments of the population.

Second, at the micro level, family size is closely associated with poverty incidence, as consistently borne out by household survey data over time. In short, poor families are heavily burdened when they end up with more children than they themselves desire. The latest data show that poverty incidence is less than 10% for a family with one child; but it rises steadily with the number of children to 57% for a family with nine or more children (NDHS 2003). Larger families also make less investments in human capital per child – investments that are crucial in breaking the chain of intergenerational poverty. Average annual spending on education per student falls from P5,558 for a one-child family to P682 for a family with nine or more children, and average health spending per capita drops correspondingly from P1,700 to P150 (FIES 2003).

Third, there is evidence that the poor prefer smaller families, except that they are unable to achieve their preference. On the average, among the poorest 10% of women of reproductive age, 44% of pregnancies are unwanted (FPS 2006).

Unwanted births represent a considerable unmet need2 for family planning services. Among the poorest families, 22% of married women of reproductive age express a desire to avoid pregnancies but are still not using any family planning method (FPS 2006). Contraceptive use remains extremely low among poor couples because they lack information about and access to them. For instance, among the poorest 20% of women, over half do not use any method of family planning whatsoever, while less than a third use modern methods (FPS 2006). Among the poorest women who want to avoid pregnancy, at least 41% do not use any contraceptive method because they lack information.3

Fourth, lack of access to contraception has important health implications. Maternal mortality is currently a high 162 per 100,000 live births and is unlikely to fall to the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of 52 by 2015. Having too many and too closely-spaced children raises the risk of illness and premature deaths (for mother and child alike). Ten women die daily owing to pregnancy and causes associated with childbirth (NDHS 2003). Moreover, many unwanted pregnancies result in induced and illegal abortions, numbering nearly half a million annually, as estimated from reported cases in 2000 (Juarez et al. 2005).

Fifth, the health risks associated with mistimed and unwanted pregnancies are higher for adolescent mothers, as they are more likely to have complications during labor (FPS 2006). Almost a fourth of uneducated teenagers have already begun childbearing compared with only three percent of those who have attended college or higher (FPS 2006).

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2 Unmet need for family planning refers to the proportion of currently married women who are not using any method of family planning but do not want any more children or prefer to space births.

3 The fact that only three percent of the poorest complained of the cost of contraceptives and inconvenience of use is itself alarming – it implies that many of them are not even aware of the availability of contraceptives from either public or private sources.

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Sixth, there are unintended social costs (negative externalities) arising from mistimed and unplanned pregnancies. Parents who are able to space their children and achieve their desired number are also more likely to fully bear the cost of raising and educating them. By contrast, poor families having more children than desired are constrained to rely more on public education and health services and other publicly provided goods and services. In short, in a situation where government is already hard pressed in financing even the most basic items of public spending, having no national population policy is tantamount to burying one’s head in the sand.4

Moreover, women who have children sooner than planned are rarely in the best of health during pregnancy and are more likely to seek medical treatment. And poor women are more likely to utilize public rather than private health care facilities. Public education and health facilities are already congested and decongesting them would entail increased taxation. Providing facilities for planning and spacing pregnancies is one way of alleviating the tax burden. Teen pregnancies also impose a social cost. Since teen mothers are more likely to drop out of school, they are also less able to internalize the cost of rearing their children and more likely to shift this burden to the government.

Seventh, ensuring access to the full range of modern (“artificial”) FP methods cum appropriate information raises the success rate of achieving the desired family size. Limiting FP options to “natural family planning (NFP) methods only” fails to address the private and social costs of mistimed and unwanted pregnancies. NFP methods – which include the basal body temperature method, the cervical mucus or ovulation method, the calendar method and the sympto-thermal method – have a theoretical or perfect-use failure rate ranging from 2% to 9% depending on the specific method. But perfect use is hardly achieved, so that NFP methods typically have 24% failure rates (Ponzetti and Hoefler 1988) – meaning that if 100 women adopt NFP, 24 of them would typically become pregnant in a year.

Data from 1973 to 2006 highlight the importance of full information and access to the whole range of modern methods, rather than NFP only. The chart (shown after the References) shows a close association between the reduction in the average number of children a woman bears, use of modern methods and, to some extent, reduced utilization of traditional methods. The RH Bill addresses both the private and social costs of uninformed, unplanned and unprotected reproductive health behaviour.

A notable weakness of the bill, however, is that it fails to explicitly identify the poor and the uneducated as its target population, which could have implications for the cost-effectiveness of the program. Moreover, while the integration of education on sexual health and rights in the curriculum of public and private schools flows naturally out of what we observe on the ground, there could be logistical, design, and private-rights issues that need to be sorted out. For instance, parents who for religious reasons believe that their children should not go through the school system’s education in sexual and reproductive health should be given the room to opt out.

Another weakness of the bill is that it reduces the autonomy of local governments by obliging them to spend on reproductive health care services half of the 20-percent of the IRA allotted

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4 Spending on social services has chronically suffered, owing largely to poor revenue collection. Government’s tax collection now amounts to only 14% of GNP, even including the expanded and increased VAT, which many who oppose the RH Bill also want scrapped. Recent reports that 17 % of elementary school-age children are not in school – a figure up from 10 % just ten years ago – is depressing, indeed.

to local development projects (Section 9 of the RH Bill). If reproductive health is really high on the national government’s priorities, the funding must come from the national government itself. And if national government wants LGUs to spend more on reproductive health, it should give incentives for them to do so, rather than tell them how much to spend.

Nevertheless, these and other shortcomings of the bill are not fundamental and should be dealt with through the proper amendments. But all things considered, the RH Bill, even if it becomes law in its entirety, is definitely better than the status quo.

Conceptual and factual distortions

The current debate on the population issue has become unnecessarily muddled by conceptual and factual distortions. Some groups, including the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and other “pro-life” groups, vehemently oppose the RH Bill because they claim that it is pro-abortion and is anti-life. A studious reading of the bill, however, shows that these are clearly erroneous claims. In the first place, there is an obvious definitional and scientific difference between contraception, which occurs before conception, and abortion, which occurs after5.

Second, the bill’s main thrust is to promote full information on, and provide access to and choice from among the whole range of traditional, modern, and “natural” family planning methods for contraception. The bill is, in fact, unequivocally and explicitly against abortion – thus, “abortion shall remain penalized under the Revised Penal Code and relevant jurisprudence” (Pangalangan 2008). Some objectors to the RH Bill have further argued that the bill will only lead to promiscuity, the break-up of families, decay of moral values, and hedonism. But this is pure ideological conjecture – an assertion sans logic and empirical basis. Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.

The current administration has sadly also contributed to the confusion. President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo at the General Assembly of the United Nations in its 60th session on 15 September 2005 asserted that natural family planning technology was found “effective compared to artificial contraceptives” by the World Health Organization. She added that: “the Population Council of New York has found that artificial contraception contributes only 2.0% to the decline of birth rates while the combination of improving the economic condition of the family, urbanization, and breastfeeding contributes 98%”. When asked for their reactions, however, both the WHO and the Population Council categorically disavowed President Arroyo’s statements.

More misinformation was contained in the president’s most recent SONA (28 July 2008). She asserted that her policy of natural family planning (NFP) combined with female education has reduced population growth to 2.04% during her administration compared with 2.36% when “artificial” birth control techniques were pushed. At best, the president’s statement was disingenuous, since it is well-known that more educated females are more likely to use modern (“artificial”) contraceptive methods. On the other hand, how could the use of “modern-NFP” have contributed to the fall in population growth when its use rate among married women of reproductive age (15-49) actually dropped from 0.5% to 0.3% in 2001-2006? By contrast, their use of modern (“artificial”) contraceptives rose from 33 % to 36 %

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5 Even here, as in the case of the so-called “morning-after pill”, there are many opinions as to whether any intervention made shortly after sexual intercourse can be considered abortion.

during the same period. This actually implies that it was modern (“artificial”) contraceptive use that rose as women became more educated, and thus was more likely to be associated with the decline in the population growth rate.
Conclusion

Debate is always healthy: religious and other groups are perfectly free to espouse their own views and opinions. The line must be drawn, however, at that point where deliberate efforts are made to misinform and distort the true and well-meaning provisions of the RH Bill.

An unambiguous and consistent national population policy is long overdue in our country (UPSE 2004). It is an integral part of development and poverty reduction strategy. Once passed, the RH Bill can be a good instrument of national population policy.

We, therefore, strongly support the RH Bill and urge the national leadership to be fully and unequivocally behind it. Espousing “natural family planning only” is a position inconsistent with the spirit and letter of the bill and reflects a lack of seriousness in pursuing long-term economic development and poverty reduction.

It is in this spirit of debate that we express our own opinion. We say – based on serious evidence – that the RH Bill is pro-poor and authentically pro-life and pro-family.

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References
Juarez, Fatima, J. Cabigon, S. Singh, and R. Hussain. 2005. “The incidence of induced abortion in the Philippines: Current levels and recent trends,” International Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 31, No. 3 (September), pp. 140-149.

National Statistics Office. 2006. Family Planning Survey (FPS) 2006: Final Report.

____________________. 2003. National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) 2003: Final Report.

____________________. 2003. Family Income and Expenditure Survey (FIES) 2003: Final Report.

Pangalangan, Raul C. 2008. “Separating Church and State, fact from fiction,” Op-ed column, Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 25, p. A12.

Ponzetti J.J. Jr, and Hoefler S. 1988. “Natural family planning: A review and assessment,” Family and Community Health, Vol. 11, No. 2 (August), pp. 36-48.

U.P. School of Economics (UPSE: R. P. Alonzo, A. M. Balisacan, D. B. Canlas, J. J. Capuno, R. L. Clarete, R. A. Danao, E. S. de Dios, B. E. Diokno, E. F. Esguerra, R. V. Fabella, M. S. Gochoco-Bautista, A. P. Kraft, F. M. Medalla, N. F. Mendoza, S. C. Monsod, C. W. Paderanga, E. M. Pernia, S. A. Quimbo, G. P. Sicat, O. C. Solon, E. A. Tan, and G. R. Tecson). 2004. “Population and Poverty: The Real Score,” Discussion Paper No. 0415 (December).

http://www.econ.upd.edu.ph/papers/Population_Poverty_Politics_RHBill.pdf

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we acknowledge students who have found this post from http://cooloeco.multiply.com/journal. welcome to this blog.

i have three tips for the students, also browse and read the following: 

1. these are all the posts on the rh bill – click here http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/?s=rh+bill

2. CATHOLICS CAN SUPPORT THE RH BILL IN GOOD CONSCIENCE – Ateneo Professors’ Position Paper RH Bill 5043 – click here  http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/reproductive-health-bill-5043/text-of-ateneo-professors-position-paper-on-rh-bill-5043/

3. ADB : Poverty In the Philippines – causes, constraints & opportunities – click here http://2010presidentiables.wordpress.com/2011/10/25/5842/

4. please read the rh bill “consolidated reproductive health bill full text – House Bill RH 4244″ – click here http://wp.me/pnw03-1qg

if you have questions or you need help, post a comment here and we will try to help you.

  1. Sweet Ibieza
    March 5, 2010 at 8:56 am

    For me, RH Bill will not quench the poverty in the Philippines.

  2. melissa de los reyes
    March 5, 2010 at 9:14 am

    Sweet Ibieza :For me, RH Bill will not quench the poverty in the Philippines.

    nobody is saying that,it is not the silver bullet but it will help. poverty is multi-sectoral problem that need solutions from all setors, one of which is population management.

    • October 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      How about the billions of pesos that the country had been robbed of? Would it not give enough livelihood for the Filipino people? How about the billions of tax pesos that rich criminals spend for their sinful lifestyle? How about the agriculture wealth that we are wasting? How about the attitudes that made us a third-world country? The people has problems, but the problem is not the number of people.

      • Phil
        June 8, 2011 at 4:32 pm

        Yes, people have problems but the quality of life begins within each family. A minimum wage earner cannot provide for 5 children. He has no right to have such number of children if he cannot give education, clothing, food and shelter. You can have as many children as you want as long as you are wealthy enough to provide.

        Taken on a national level, why then shall we continue with a 2.03% population growth rate if we cannot provide anymore? For the mean time, let us increase the quality of life for the present generation before we wish to have more children again. It is all a matter of choice.

        For what are more children if it means more babies dying of sickness? What about the street children who cannot go to school. What about the squatters with the father lying on the bed while his children are begging at the streets and the mother giving birth every year? What is that kind of ignorance? Wouldn’t the act if they have a choice?

        • agathacruzz001@yahoo.com
          July 1, 2011 at 6:37 am

          Phil YOU SAID——
          ” He has no right to have such number of children if he cannot give education, clothing, food and shelter. You can have as many children as you want as long as you are wealthy enough to provide.”

          I SAY…. Who gave you the right to determine how many children a person can have or not? ARE YOU STUPID?

          • What the?
            January 9, 2012 at 12:07 pm

            At agathacruzz:
            Don’t you realize the implications of what you are saying? To negate Phil in his statement means you approve of freedom without limits. Do you find it satisfying that people can have as much children they can have, but can’t feed them? These children who are not fed, sheltered, clothed, or educated are the street children who lead a very harsh life.
            Please do not just comment so easily when you have not thought about what you are saying.

            agathacruzz001@yahoo.com :
            Phil YOU SAID——
            ” He has no right to have such number of children if he cannot give education, clothing, food and shelter. You can have as many children as you want as long as you are wealthy enough to provide.”
            I SAY…. Who gave you the right to determine how many children a person can have or not? ARE YOU STUPID?

  3. Neigyl R. Noval
    October 3, 2010 at 2:42 pm

    There are good things about this bill. But, there are also bad things in it. However, the bad things prevails–that is the reason why I will present the bad things. You need to have a copy of the RH Bill on sight for you to be guided accordingly.

    Here are the irregularities of the RH Bill. Please read this carefully so that you may be aware of this:

    Section 2. First paragraph: “…respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.”
    –> Why not in conformity with the Philippine standards? Why international? Do we need to follow other countries’ way of population control and reproductive health? Or are we undermined or enslaved by the first world countries? Philippines is known for its good and kind people like being hospitable, which other countries are seeking to learn. We have our own standards.

    Section 2. Third paragraph: “…sustainable human development is better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens.”
    –> If you love our country, or if you love other people, you will see that this statement may promote euthanasia, divorce, etc. If you don’t see it, seek more of its meaning. It lies beneath the underneath. There will be an unequal distribution of wealth. Don’t you see it?

    Section 3. (a): “In the promotion of reproductive health, there should be no bias for either modern of natural methods of family planning;”
    –> Nothing in this bill that promotes the natural family planning.

    Section 3. (e): “The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to be spread so thinly to service a burgeoning multitude that makes the allocations grossly inadequate and effectively meaningless.”
    –> Whoa, more money for the rich! If you look at this bill only on its presented purpose and overlooking its effects, then we have a problem. You see? This promotes more wealth for the rich.

    Section 3. (f): “Freedom of informed choice, which is…”
    –> What is meant by informed choice? Does it mean everyone is free to watch x-rated films? How about the kids? How about a demonstration in class? Oh, it’s our choice! We are free to be informed of it. Really?

    Section 3. (g): “While the number and spacing of children are left to the sound judgement of parents and couples based on their personal conviction and religious beliefs…”
    –> This statement is contradicted by Section 10.
    Continued: “…such concerned parents and couples, INCLUDING UNMARRIED INDIVIDUALS, should be granted…”
    –> This includes minors, and lovers not capable of being a parent. This promotes pre-marital sex, non-marital sex, abortion, promiscuity, fornication, incest, etc. Anyway, we are free to do it!
    Continued: “…and should be guided by qualified State workers and professional private practitioners;”
    –> Why are church leaders not included? Why do priests, bishops, nuns, etc not involved?

    Section 3. (j): “Development…that seek to uplift the quality of life of the people, more particularly the poor, the needy and the marginalized;”
    –> What assurance will the poor benefits? Please reflect on this. Is it really for the quality of life?

    Section 3. (l): “Respect for, PROTECTION and FULFILLMENT of REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH RIGHTS…not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples BUT THOSE OF ADOLESCENTS’ AND CHILDREN’S AS WELL;…”
    –> What reproductive health rights for the adolescents and children? Children are included, whose mind are not yet mature enough! This may promote a dirty knowledge about this to the children. Parents will be responsible for this.

    Section 3. (m): “…as abortion remains a crime and is punishable, the government shall ensure the women seeking care for POST-ABORTION COMPLICATIONS shall be treated…and compassionate manner.”
    –> This is again contradicted in Section 10. The bill doesn’t only contradicts the Law of Nature but violates the bill itself as well. Post-abortion complications in this statement is only an admission that abortion really has complications.

    Section 4. “Definition of Terms”
    –> This may not be a big deal but redefining the common understanding of everyone does not need to be defined.

    Section 4. (b): “…which enables couples and INDIVIDUALS to decide freely and responsibly the NUMBER and SPACING OF THEIR CHILDREN…”
    –> “Individuals.” Does this mean that unmarried couples have the right to have children? I’m using my common sense here. You should use yours also.

    Section 4. (c): “Reproductive Health – refers to the state of physical, mental and social well-being…”
    –> Why spiritual and moral well-being not included here?
    Continued: “This implies that PEOPLE are able to have a SATISFYING and SAFE SEX LIFE, that they have the CAPABILITY TO REPRODUCE and the freedom to DECIDE if, WHEN AND HOW OFTEN TO DO SO, provided that these are not against the law.”
    –> Take note of the phrases that are in UPPERCASE. People to have satisfaction includes the youth, unmarried, homosexual, etc. And, they may decide when and how often to do so? How about teenagers doing it every minute on the grassland? It is not against the law as long as no one saw them.

    Section 4. (d): “Reproductive Health Rights – refers to the rights of INDIVIDUALS and couples to DECIDE FREELY AND RESPONSIBLY the number, spacing and timing of their children.”
    –> Again, the ‘individual’ word. Does this bill really promotes population control in which I can decide freely and responsibly the number of children? Suppose I receive great pay, I can raise about 15 children. What a population control. This bill is too vague.

    Section 4. (g): “10. Male involvement and participation in reproductive health.”
    –> Number 1 to 8 of this section may be considered okay. But on 10, how will I be involved and participate with reproductive health? Isn’t it obvious that this refers to sex? Take note that on Section 4 (c) doesn’t include the spiritual well-being.

    Section 4. (h): “…relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive system its functions and processes and human sexuality…”
    –> This may promote promiscuity in education.
    Continued: “…developing NECESSARY SKILLS to be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality…”
    –> How? Doing actual sexual intercourse in class? What necessary skills? Does it mean the techniques, the positions and the likes? Does it mean the class will have a film showing on pornographic films?

    Section 10: “Contraceptives as ESSENTIAL MEDICINES – hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other allied reproductive health products…shall be considered under the category of ESSENTIAL MEDICINES…”
    –> This is the most interesting part. Contraceptives are now considered as ESSENTIAL MEDICINES–not only an ordinary medicine but an ESSENTIAL medicine. We can buy condoms the same way we buy Biogesic. Teenagers can buy those too at an affordable price. Better advertise it so that small children will learn too and if possible imitate it through experiments and practice for better reproductive health learning and to master the NECESSARY SKILLS as depicted in Section 4, h.

    Section 12. (g): “Abstinence before marriage”
    –> How can this be promoted when the unmarried are allowed to have sex and reproduction (See Section 4)?

    Sections 22 – 27:
    –> If this become a law, people like me who loves humanity will have no choice to obey it. One reason for peoples immorality may be from this law.

    I know you are tired of reading my sharing. That only proves that this Bill has many irregularities. Erase all those above mentioned parts on the Bill, and the Bill may become better for the people and logical.

    • Hinterlist
      February 10, 2011 at 12:45 am

      hmmmmm to be honest, there are also irregularities in your comments :D
      my comments on your comments are:

      On “…respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.”
      –>You do have a point there. But, can you exactly point out the difference in Philippine and International standards for human rights? I can’t think of any.

      On “…sustainable human development is better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens.”
      –> I am afraid you just committed ‘slippery slope’ there. May I ask how did you come up with your conclusion? I can’t find things beneath the underneath. For example, how will there be an unequal distribution of wealth?

      On “In the promotion of reproductive health, there should be no bias for either modern of natural methods of family planning;”
      –>Obviously, you have a bias on natural family planning. Care to explain why?

      On “The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to be spread so thinly to service a burgeoning multitude that makes the allocations grossly inadequate and effectively meaningless.”
      –> I don’t get it (the quoted statement). I’ll just have to pass this one up.

      On “Freedom of informed choice, which is…”
      –> You think kids will be taught on how to have protected sex? I think that’s a different issue regarding sex education, not directly connected to the RH Bill. If you ask me, freedom of informed choice means having all the possible information that can be acquired to have a better choice. Wouldn’t you want that?

      On “While the number and spacing of children are left to the sound judgement of parents and couples based on their personal conviction and religious beliefs…”
      –> Of course it should be available to all, especially those who have a chance to plan well given that they still have no children. So what if they are having pre-marital sex? What if they are atheists? You’re gonna force them to follow the Church’s rule? That’s unfair you know.

      And besides, why do you think they are promoting pre-marital sex in the first place? I don’t get that. If you think about it, even today people still have pre-marital sex with or without the RH Bill. So having the RH Bill will not translate into more pre-marital sex, just more use of condoms :)). In the end, people still have a choice whether to do it after marriage or not, even if they are Catholic.

      This is taking too long. I do admire the time you spent just to comment on the issue. Hope you also reply on my reply. Hehe

  4. carebear7
    March 6, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    I think that we do not need the RH bill. The goal of “enabl(ing) couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to carry out their decisions” can be achieved by DOH-level programs. In fact, government hospitals already provide contraceptives to the poor for free. However, if the RH bill is passed, the government (and anti-contraception taxpayers) will effectively be paying so that people can have sex whenever they want. Wouldn’t it be better if to use the money for education and livelihood programs so that the poor can pay for their own contraceptive needs?
    In addition to this, you also mentioned several concerns that should be addressed by congress before it is made into a law: “There are a few aspects of the bill to which some groups have expressed strong objections, which we can understand. Among these are whether the State should subsidize family planning by the unmarried; whether reproductive health and sex education in public schools should be compulsory, and at what grade-level it should start. Moreover, the notion of two children being the “ideal family size” (Section 13 of the RH Bill) may be difficult to defend.”
    I would also like to add that the current form would require health professionals and employers to provide contraception (or referrals) to their patients and employees. This is against their freedom of religion.
    As I see it, easily-obtainable contraceptives would lead to more risky sexual behavior, which would lead to more teenage pregnancies and STDs. I think that the government should not give away contraceptives. Instead, it must educate and provide a healthy economic environment so that people can have the means to make their own decisions regarding their sex lives/families using their own resources. This would probably be a better way to achieve their goal.

  5. Phil
    June 8, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    @ carebear7 ” I see it, easily-obtainable contraceptives would lead to more risky sexual behavior, which would lead to more teenage pregnancies and STDs. ”

    Having a contraceptive in your pocket would not increase your chances of having sex with someone. Besides, ignorance of the proper methods of family planning and safe sex would only lead to more unwanted consequences.

    • alfred mendoza
      June 16, 2011 at 9:37 pm

      it is ignorance that leads to problems and mistakes, not knowledge.

  6. Phil
    June 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    The segment of society who will benefit most from Reproductive Health Education are the poor who have no access to correct information. Do not try to relate the way they feel to the way an educated person feel like you. You can say some things because you have the wealth and the knowledge of the proper methods of family planing. A person who does not know anything about it would simply act and have sex the way he/she likes. But if you give him the information he would have a choice.

    And hypothetical things like “availability of contraceptives would increase STD and riskier sexual behavior” is somewhat contradictory and highly speculative. Having a contraceptive does very little to increase your chances of having sex with someone — the other factors that makes a person have sex with you greatly outweighs the piece of rubber or the IUD you have. Clearly, having a contraceptive (condom) also decreases your chances of having STD’s.

    On the issue of paying for the expenses of RH Bill program then I ask you, should I pay for the education of their children (those numerous siblings) even if I have only 2 children? What about if I am single? How about the other expenses being charged to the working population resulting from excessive children? The (statistics ) fact is, the lower the economic status, the more children they have and the more ignorant they are to the realities of Family Planning. Teach them (give them the choice) so they will not become burdensome, though being burdensome may be opposite to their intentions because everyone wish to have good quality of life.

  7. Closed Catholic
    June 18, 2011 at 3:49 am

    RH bill is from the devil.. because it destroys life!

  8. kiko laurel
    June 27, 2011 at 7:11 am

    The reason there are so many abortions in our country is not the lack of knowledge about contraceptives/ family planning, nor the lack of resources in acquiring contraceptives. PEOPLE COMMIT INTENTIONAL ABORTIONS BECAUSE OF LACK OF RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE.

    I had a neighbor once, who became my friend.. She was very intelligent about so any things. But when it came to sex, she was hungry for it, really. Of course without contraceptives she became pregnant. She wanted to abort her baby. I urged her not to. I even offered to help her support her baby, and her hospitalization. Just so she won’t abort the baby. You know what happened. She still aborted her baby.

    You would think that she will learn from the experience and use contraceptives? No she did not. After some time she got pregnant again. Again I offered to help her support her baby, and to help her with hospitalization expenses. But she aborted her baby again.

    After a few months, we met to talk. I ask her why she continued to be promiscuous. She said, hindi daw niya mapigil kasi masarap. All this time she did not even to bother using contraceptives

    I am sure she is fully knowledgeable about contraception and contraceptives. Contraceptives are easily available here where I live. But, sadly the availability of contraceptives does not equate with being responsible.

    It is not difficult to see that being knowledgeable about contraception or having the means of acquiring contraceptives, does not prevent the problem of having unwanted children.

    We must put a preference on teaching good family values rather than pushing for “contraception mentality”.

  9. yawaaaka
    July 21, 2011 at 10:42 pm

    ahh okk ..

  10. July 30, 2011 at 5:59 am

    Yeah, I agree with those who said, “For me, RH Bill will not quench the poverty in the Philippines”.

    First of all, we are all RATIONAL HUMAN beings. WE can imply some self discipline within us. Secondly, it is a S.I.N. being “hungry” for some sexual intercourse. The people who don’t respect human life are so lustful that they really would use contraceptives for their own pleasure…

  11. Emily Loren M. Opida
    July 8, 2012 at 5:36 am

    Teach them. Realizing that they are poor because of the growing population and the per capita is lesser, resources have been divided smaller among them and limited, they get less once there are a lot of people and government might forget them will open up their eyes. Will make them scared to be hungry.
    But you cant impose knowledge on the ones who are resistant to receive knowledge.
    There should be like a reward, or an incentive for those who gain knowledge on RH. Like they could be paid to teach other areas and so on. For example, I study master’s degree not because i like it. but because it was imposed to me by my parents that through it i will gain promotion and money. same goes with the poor, learning RH care will give them self esteem and money through teaching it to others. or simply work in small clinics with pay to support them.

  12. Critical Citizen
    August 2, 2012 at 6:07 am

    All this shit talk about abortion doesnt matter. The things on contraceptives are not imposed but merely opened up as an option. It is now the discretion of people based on their OWN ethical and moral standards to succumb to the use of it or not. and come on with the talk on people being rational and self disciplined.. see where thats taken us? We are overly populated just look at the kids on the streets? We need more tangible solutions to our problems. AND PLEASE ALL THIS NONSENSE ABOUT RELIGION AND DEVILS. get a hold of yourself. dont go out imposing your religious beliefs on us. this is a secular country. People think RH proponents control people etcetera but look whos being a mindless zombie to your great religion.

  13. Victor F. Familaran
    March 25, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Hello, I am currently working on a research report about Philippine Maternal Mortality causes and determinants, can you help me? Please

  1. January 18, 2010 at 9:59 pm
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  6. August 6, 2012 at 2:05 am
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