DOH signs implementing rules and regulations of Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law

A March 15, 2013 press release from the Department of Health

The Department of Health (DOH) today marked a momentous event in the history of health care: the signing of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No. 10354, otherwise known as the “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law of 2012” (RPRH Act of 2012).

“The completion and signing of the IRR is vital in translating government’s Universal Health Care or Kalusugan Pangkalahatan into an operational framework to reduce maternal health and improve overall reproductive health outcomes,” Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona said.

“The RPRH Law will empower women, through informed choice and voluntarism, improve access to information, facilities and services, increased stability and sustainability of health policy across national and local government, institutionalize the partnerships between national and local governments, and recognize the important roles and contribution of civil society organizations, basic sectors, academe and private sector,” Ona explained.

The IRR highlights the implementation of improved access to family planning services, such as the enhancement of health service delivery, provision of mobile health clinics in remote and depressed areas, improvement of PhilHealth coverage on reproductive health services, especially for the poor, hiring and training of skilled health professionals and continuous monitoring and review of Reproductive Health programs.

Public consultations on the draft IRR, dubbed “Usapang Kalusugang Pampamilya,” were held in three different areas around the country: Davao City, Cebu City, and Manila. These were attended by various civil society organizations, interest groups, health professionals, and media, among others.

As provided for in Section 26 of the RPRH 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.

After 14 years of waiting for the RPRH bill, which has been certified as urgent by the President, to be signed into law, finally this event is a resounding success for all Filipinos. The DOH commends all the officers and members of the drafting committee, technical working groups and civil society organizations groups involved in the IRR drafting.

“This is just the beginning of our continuing effort to ensure that no woman will die while giving life,” Ona concluded.