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RH Bill now RH Law, Republic Act No. 10354 – aquino signed the bill into law December 21, 2012

December 28, 2012 Leave a comment

representative edcel lagman has said president aquino signed the bill into law last december 21, 2012. but no announcement has been made by malacanang. in twitter, malacanang spokesperson abi valte has said the palace is neither denying or confirming that the rh bill has been signed into law.

rappler.com however has published a signed copy of the bill.

is something up?

rh law sigs

source : http://www.rappler.com/nation/18728-aquino-signs-rh-bill-into-law

MANILA, Philippines – As promised, the Philippines enters 2013 with a Reproductive Health law.

President Benigno Aquino III signed into law Republic Act No. 10354 or the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012” Friday last week, December 21, according to a copy obtained by Rappler. Malacañang is yet to issue a formal announcement.

It was signed without fanfare, confirmed House Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II on Friday, December 28.

The RH law provides universal access to reproductive health care services and information, which do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration. It prioritizes poorer households as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction.

A new law only takes effect 15 days after it is published in the Official Gazette or in at least two newspapers.

Below is a certified true copy of the signed measure:

source : http://www.rappler.com/nation/18728-aquino-signs-rh-bill-into-law

is representative manny pacquaio helping or hurting the cause of anti-RH Bill proponents?

May 30, 2011 3 comments

manny pacquaio almost still fresh from the boxing ring he fought in to win over mosley in las vegas jumped into the fire called the RH Bill national debate after three steps on the NAIA.

manny pacquiao in prayer after a bout

he declared he is against the passage of the RH Bill on grounds of his religious beliefs. pacquaio is a catholic and according to him, he understood God’s words telling him to “go forth to the world and multiply, not only have two or three children”.

first off, i am glad pacquaio has time to listen to God, that is very good for him.  it is difficult for us to imagine he has the time to listen to God considering he has so many fights to attend to, many training sessions, he has his singing career, he is a congressman and has lots of money to count, more than a billion by last count (and counting). ( plus to send occassional text to his friend krista who now lives in the US. see krista in a bikini here: http://bit.ly/jGaZIx)

manny pacquaio is of course one of the most popular pinoys in the country. the whole country stops to watch his fights. and that is the attraction of pacquaio to the bishops who oppose the RH Bill. this is after all a celebrity endorser crazy country. practically all the tv ads we see in the philippines has a celebrity as endorser, including pacquiao himself who appear in a countless number of tv ads for many philippine brands.

pacquaio even had an audience with the bishops to talk about we can only guess the RH Bill.  we can only guess that the topic they had was on what pacquaio will do for the bishops in their fight to stop the passage of the RH  Bill.

we are sure the bishops were very happy about pacquaio meeting with them. until, someone in media noticed pacquaio was wearing a purple necktie. purple is the designated color chosen by the pro-RH Bill movement. the color choice for the necktie was a paux pas. we are betting pacquaio did not realize the color of his necktie will be questioned by mediamen.

faux pas appear to be the norm by which pacquaio has defined his first day into the tough world of debate on national issues. just minutes after the internet was a buzz with pacquiao’s declaration of opposition to the RH Bill, netizens posted a Philippine Star article  of some months ago where jinkee, manny’s wife admitted she is taking the pill.

“After Queenie, sabi ko kay Manny, tama na ang apat,” Jinkee volunteers. “Hindi pa ako nagpa-tali, pero nagpi-pills ako (ngayon). Nagpa-make-over ako (sa Belo) not for Manny or the people na nag-sympathize sa akin nung nangyari ‘yung intriga. I did it for myself. You should love yourself.”

read : http://www.philstar.com/article.aspx?articleid=652532

ooops, another paux pas and this one we think is a major one. his wife admitting to be taking the pill runs directly against pacquaio’s anti-RH Bill position. he loses his credibility as someone who object to the RH BIll on the basis of his religious belief.

in some way the pacquaio couple’s situation is the situation among many married couples in the philippines. for many married couples – the man and woman would have opposing views on the need for contraception. for most men it is unnecessary while most women feel it is the one thing she needs very much in her relationship with her husband.

conttraception is something that very few pinoy men understand. the pinoy male does not understand it for a few reasons : he is ignorant of what it is, he feels macho enough that he feels it is unnecessary, in the case of condoms, it reduces the sexual pleasure or what the hell does he care, he is not the one who gets pregnant.

the last part is what every pinay understand very well. in many pinoy families, concerns about the family and children is the sole responsibility of the wife.  the pinoy feels all he needs to do is earn a living and give his salary to his wife and the wife is suppose to take of everything. and “everything” includes getting pregnant.

with the pinay wife understanding very well what is involved in being pregnant, in many cases, the pinay decides to take contraceptives without the knowledge of the husband. the pinay wife thinks it is just too complicated and difficult to let the husband know about her contraceptive plans. we wonder if this the same case in the pacquaio marriage.

from this paux pas number three with his wife jinkee, he stepped into a third one. this time it is on the floor of the House Of Representatives where in his pristine suit, he interpolated the main author of the RH Bill, Representative Edcel Lagman.

pacquaio the whole time read his interpolation of  lagman. the whole thing was scripted. nothing is wrong with reading from a script but it does show pacquaio’s weakness. he may have  powerful hands to knock out men twice his size, but he did not appear to have the knowledge and the intellectual skills to even touch the face of lagman.

his questions were often times clumsy and unimpressive. he sounded lost and did not present his case against the bill in any clear manner. although these were mainly questions he posted to lagman, the point of the interpolation is not just to expose the weakness of the bill but also to state his position on the matter. he was unable to that in any measure. in fact, at one point he even gave a lengthy example of a  case of the Amish in the US that was totally unrelated to the issued of reproductive health, lagman was very kind to pacquaio that he simply stated it is unrelated and said nothing more on it.

with all these things that pacquaio has done on the RH Bill issue – pacquaio badly needs a Florence Nightingale to take care of him. he only does not need direction, he needs content and very badly.

amendments to House Bill 4244 – consolidated reproductive health bill

May 16, 2011 20 comments

15 March 2011

HON. ROGELIO J. ESPINA
Chairman
Committee on Population and Family Relations
House of Representatives
Constitution Hills, Quezon City

Dear Chairman Espina:

The principal authors of House Bill 4244, the consolidated substitute bill on “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011? met yesterday to formalize voluntary amendments to the bill in order to preclude misconceptions and protracted debates. The authors have also authorized me to inform you that the following amendments be adopted as Committee amendments at the proper time:

1. Section 13 on “Roles of Local Governments in Family Planning Programs” found on lines 9-14, page 12, of the bill, which reads: “The LGUs shall ensure that poor families receive preferential access to services, commodities and programs for family planning. The role of Population Officers at municipal, city and barangay levels in the family planning effort shall be strengthened. Barangay health workers and volunteers shall be capacitated to give priority to family planning work.”

should be amended by deleting the phrase “give priority to family planning work.” found in the last sentence of the Section, and should be substituted with the phrase “help implement this Act.” This would obviate complaints that family planning is given inordinate priority.

2. Section 15 on “Mobile Health Care Service” found on page 12, lines 20-25, and page 13, lines 1-6, reading “Each Congressional District may be provided with at least one (1) Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas. The MHCS shall deliver health care supplies and services to constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The purchase of the MHCS may be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each congressional district. The operation and maintenance of the MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by a focal city or municipality within a congressional district.”

should be amended to read as follows: “Each Congressional District may be provided with at least one (1) Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas, the procurement and operation of which shall be funded by the National Government. The MHCS shall deliver health care supplies and services to constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. [The purchase of the MHCS may be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each congressional district.] The operation and maintenance of the MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by a focal city or municipality within a congressional district.”

The reason for this amendment is to liberate the PDAF without prejudice to Members of the House who may still wish to use a portion of their PDAF for the purchase and operation of the MHCS.

3. Section 16 on “Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education” found on page 13 from lines 7-25, and page 14 from lines 1-13, which reads: “Age-appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and non-formal education system starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School using life skills and other approaches. The Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall commence at the start of the school year immediately following one (1) year from the effectivity of this Act to allow the training of concerned teachers. The Department of Education (DEPED), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) shall formulate the Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education curriculum. Such curriculum shall be common to both public and private schools, out of school youth, and enrollees in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) based on, but. not limited to, the psychosocial and physical wellbeing, demography and reproductive health, and the legal aspects of reproductive health.

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pope benedict gives RH Bill strength

November 22, 2010 4 comments

by all angles, this is a very strange development – the RH Bill proponents have found a new ally against the CBCP and his name is Pope Benedict.

not that the CBCP has been winning the debate among catholics, but with the pope’s statement, the CBCP has lost any sense of moral standing in arguing against the use of condoms which is allowed in the RH Bill. we are saying the CBCP has lost the argument with its own flock as research shows a high 70% of catholics support the RH Bill.

the pope has effectively made the case for the RH Bill’s passage much easier than before.

Pope’s pronouncement on condoms strengthens RH bill – Lagman

By TJ Burgonio

Philippine Daily Inquirer

First Posted 19:38:00 11/21/2010

MANILA, Philippines – A staunch advocate of the reproductive health bill welcomed on Sunday Pope Benedict XVI’s pronouncement that HIV-infected male prostitutes could use condoms to prevent the spread of the disease, adding that this weakened the local Catholic Church opposition to the RH bill.

House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman, author of reproductive health measure House Bill 96, observed that this was a “departure from the strictly very conservative approach of the papacy and the Catholic Church” on contraception.

“That is a welcome development because the papacy is opening up to the eventual contraceptive use,” he said in an interview by phone.

“Once you have opened up and made an exception, the liberalization of the Church outlook has started. And we’d expect further liberalization. He has made an exception, then more exception would be forthcoming,” he added.

The Pope said HIV-carrying male prostitutes could use condoms as a first step of taking moral responsibility to avoid infecting partners, but stressed that this was not a “real or moral solution.”

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Reproductive health bill: Facts, fallacies

January 16, 2010 266 comments

we are printing in full this article that appeared at PDI.

Reproductive health bill: Facts, fallacies
By Rep. Edcel Lagman
Philippine Daily Inquirer

THE BILL IS NATIONAL IN SCOPE, COMPREHENSIVE, rights-based and provides adequate funding to the population program. It is a departure from the present setup in which the provision for reproductive health services is devolved to local government units, and consequently, subjected to the varying strategies of local government executives and suffers from a dearth of funding.

The reproductive health (RH) bill promotes information on and access to both natural and modern family planning methods, which are medically safe and legally permissible. It assures an enabling environment where women and couples have the freedom of informed choice on the mode of family planning they want to adopt based on their needs, personal convictions and religious beliefs.

The bill does not have any bias for or against either natural or modern family planning. Both modes are contraceptive methods. Their common purpose is to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

The bill will promote sustainable human development. The UN stated in 2002 that “family planning and reproductive health are essential to reducing poverty.” The Unicef also asserts that “family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.”

Coverage of RH. (1) Information and access to natural and modern family planning (2) Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition (3) Promotion of breast feeding (4) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications (5) Adolescent and youth health (6) Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections, HIV/AIDS and STDs (7) Elimination of violence against women (8)

Reproductive health bill: Facts, fallacies
Counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health (9) Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers (10) Male involvement and participation in RH; (11) Prevention and treatment of infertility and (12) RH education for the youth.

Strengthening of Popcom. The existing Population Commission shall be reoriented to promote both natural and modern family planning methods. It shall serve as the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development.

Capability building of community-based volunteer workers. The workers shall undergo additional and updated training on the delivery of reproductive healthcare services and shall receive not less than 10-percent increase in honoraria upon successful completion of training.

Midwives for skilled birth attendance. Every city and municipality shall endeavor to employ an adequate number of midwives and other skilled attendants.

Emergency obstetrics care. Each province and city shall endeavor to ensure the establishment and operation of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel that provide emergency obstetrics care.

Hospital-based family planning. Family planning methods requiring hospital services like ligation, vasectomy and IUD insertion shall be available in all national and local government hospitals.

Contraceptives as essential medicines. Reproductive health products shall be considered essential medicines and supplies and shall form part of the National Drug Formulary considering that family planning reduces the incidence of maternal and infant mortality.

Reproductive health education. RH education in an age-appropriate manner shall be taught by adequately trained teachers from Grade 5 to 4th year high school. As proposed in the bill, core subjects include responsible parenthood, natural and modern family planning, proscription and hazards of abortion, reproductive health and sexual rights, abstinence before marriage, and responsible sexuality.

Certificate of compliance. No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office. The document should certify that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on family planning, responsible parenthood, breast feeding and infant nutrition.

Ideal family size. The State shall encourage two children as the ideal family size. This is neither mandatory nor compulsory and no punitive action may be imposed on couples having more than two children.

Employers’ responsibilities. Employers shall respect the reproductive health rights of all their workers. Women shall not be discriminated against in the matter of hiring, regularization of employment status or selection for retrenchment. Employers shall provide free reproductive health services and commodities to workers, whether unionized or unorganized.

Multimedia campaign. Popcom shall initiate and sustain an intensified nationwide multimedia campaign to raise the level of public awareness on the urgent need to protect and promote reproductive health and rights.

* * *

Smear offensive

Rep. Edcel C. Lagman

THERE IS A CONTINUING campaign to discredit the reproductive health bill through misinformation. Straightforward answers to the negative propaganda will help educate and enlighten people on the measure.

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