DOH holds public consultations on RH law’s draft implementing rules and regulations

A March 5, 2013 press release from the Department of Health

The Department of Health (DOH) announced that the public consultations on the draft Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 10354, otherwise known as the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012” (RPRH Act of 2012) will be held starting today.

Said public consultations, named “Usapang Kalusugang Pampamilya” will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. at the Ritz Hotel, Garden Oases in Davao City today, at the Crown Regency Hotel in Cebu City on March 6, and at the Century Park Hotel in Manila on March 8.

Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona reiterated that the goal of legislating responsible parenthood and reproductive health has always been to save mothers’ lives, and not to control population.

Implementing the RPRH Act of 2012 is very urgent in order to reduce the country’s high maternal mortality rate by using a mix of reproductive health care services like modern family planning methods, safe deliveries, adequate blood supply, and quality care at health facilities, he added.

The provision of service delivery and financing, according to Ona, has to start with helping the poorest of the poor. Presently, the poorest 5.2 million families identified by the National Household Targetting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development are now enrolled to PhilHealth.

The Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act was signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III last December 21, 2012, and became effective last January 17, 2013. It took 13 years before the House of Representatives and the Senate finally passed this law.

As provided for in Section 26 of the RP RH Act, the draft IRR was prepared by a committee chaired by the Secretary of Health and composed of representatives of the Department of Education, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Commission on Women, Philippine Health Insurance Corporation, Department of the Interior and Local Government, National Economic and Development Authority, Leagues of Provinces, Cities and Municipalities of the Philippines and at least 4 non-government organizations.

NGOs invited to the committee are the following: Philippine Medical Association, Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society, Inc, Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, Inc., Reproductive Health, Rights and Ethics Center for Studies and Training, Women’s Health Care Foundation, Inc., Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates International, Inc. and the Bishops-Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development. The draft IRR is set to be signed tentatively on 15 March 2013.

“By March 18, we will promulgate the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RP-RH law of 2012, empowering families to decide the number and spacing of their children and ensuring that the promise of saving the lives of our mothers and infants is realized,” Ona concluded.