HOUSE BILL NO. 5043
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON, RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of thein Congress assembled:
SECTION 1.Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Reproductive Healthand Population Development Act of 2008“.
SEC. 2.Declaration of Policy. – The State upholds and promotes responsible parenthood, informed choice, birth spacing and respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.
The State shall uphold the right of the people, particularly women and their organizations, to effective and reasonable participation in the formulation and implementation of the declared policy.
This policy is anchored on the rationale that sustainable human development is better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens.
The State likewise guaranteesaccess to medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality reproductive , methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children,among other underprivileged sectors.
SEC. 3.Guiding Principles. – This Act declares the following as basic guiding principles:
a. In the promotion ofreproductive health, there should be no bias for either modern or natural methods of family planning;
b.Reproductive healthgoes beyond a demographic target because it is principallyand rights;
c. Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements ofreproductive healthand population development;
d. Since manpower is the principal asset of every country, effective reproductivehealth care servicesmust be given primacy to ensure the birth and care of healthy children and to promote responsible parenting;
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;
f. Freedom of informed choice, which is central to the exercise of any right, must be fully guaranteed by the State like the right itself;
g. While the number and spacing of children are left to the sound judgment of parents and couples based on their personal conviction and religious beliefs, such concerned parents and couples, including unmarried individuals, should be afforded free and full access to relevant, adequate and correct information onreproductive healthand human sexuality and should be guided by qualified State workers and professional private practitioners;
h.Reproductive health, including the promotion of breastfeeding, must be the joint concern of the National Government and Local Government Units(LGUs);
i. Protection and promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and human rights, includingreproductive healthrights, are imperative;
j. Development is a multi-faceted process that calls for the coordination and integration of policies, plans, programs and projects that seek to uplift the quality of life of the people, more particularly the poor, the needy and the marginalized;
k. Active participation by and thorough consultation with concerned non-government organizations (NGOs), people’s organizations (POs) and communities are imperative to ensure that basic policies, plans, programs and projects address the priority needs of stakeholders;
l. Respect for, protection and fulfillment ofreproductive healthrights seek to promote not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but those of adolescents’ and children’s as well; and
m. While nothing in this Act changes the law on abortion, as abortion remains a crime and is punishable, the government shall ensure that women seeking care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.
SEC. 4.Definition of Terms. – For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be defined as follows:
a. Responsible Parenthood – refers to the will, ability and cornmitTrient of parents to respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children more particularly through family planning;
b. Family Planning – refers to a program which enables couple, 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, and to have informed choice and access to a full range of safe, legal and effective, techniques and devices.
c.Reproductive Health-refers to the state of physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its funcitions and processes. 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. This further implies that women and men are afforded equal status in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction.
d.Reproductive HealthRights – refers to the rights of individuals and couples do decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make other decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have the information and means to carry out their decisions; and to attain the highest standard of sexual andreproductive health.
e. Gender Equality – refers to the absence of discrimination on the basis of a person’s sex, in opportunities, allocation of resources and benefits, and access to services.
f. Gender Equity – refers to fairness and justice in the distribution of benefits and responsibilities between women and men, and often requires. women-specific projects and programs to eliminate existing inequalities, inequities, policies and practices unfavorable too women.
g.Reproductive HealthCare – refers to the availability of and access to a full range of methods, techniques, supplies and services that contribute to reproductive and sexual health and well-being by preventing and solvingreproductive health-related problems in order to achieve enhancement of life and personal relations. The elements ofreproductive healthcare include:
1. Maternal, infant andand nutrition;
2. Promotion of breastfeeding;
3. Family planning information end services;
4. Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications;
5. Adolescent and youth health;
6. Prevention and management of reproductive tract infections (RTIs), HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmittable infections (STIs);
7. Elimination of violence against women;
8. Education and counseling on sexuality and sexual andreproductive health;
9. Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers and other gynecological conditions;
10. Male involvement and participation inreproductive health;,
11. Prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual dysfunction; and
12. Reproductivefor the youth.
h. ReproductiveHealth Education– refers to the process of acquiring complete, accurate and relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive system, its functions and processes and human sexuality; and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex, sexual identity, interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy and gender roles. It also includes developing the necessary skills do be able to distinguish between facts and myths on sex and sexuality; and critically evaluate. and discuss the moral, religious, social and cultural dimensions of related sensitive issues such as contraception and abortion.
i. Male involvement and participation – refers to the involvement, participation, commitment and joint responsibility of men with women in all areas of sexual andreproductive health, as well asreproductive healthconcerns specific to men.
j. Reproductive tract infection (RTI) – refers do sexually transmitted infections, sexually transmitted diseases and other types of-infections affecting the reproductive system.
k. Basic Emergency Obstetric Care – refers to lifesaving services for maternal complication being provided by a health facility or professional which must include the following six signal functions: administration of parenteral antibiotics; administration of parrenteral oxyttocic drugs; administration of parenteral anticonvulsants for pre-eclampsia and iampsia; manual removal of placenta; and assisted vaginal delivery.
l. Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care – refers to basic emergency obstetric care plus two other signal functions: performance of caesarean section and blood transfusion.
m. Maternal Death Review – refers to a qualitative and in-depth study of the causes of maternal death with the primary purpose of preventing future deaths through changes or additions to programs, plans and policies.
n. Skilled Attendant – refers to an accredited health professional such as a licensed midwife, doctor or nurse who has adequate proficiency and the skills to manage normal (uncomplicated) pregnancies, childbirth and the immediate postnatal period, and in the identification, management and referral of complication in women and newborns.
o. Skilled Attendance – refers to childbirth managed by a skilled attendant under the enabling conditions of a functional emergencyobstetric care and referral system.
p. Development – refers to a multi-dimensional process involving major changes in social structures, popular attitudes, and national institutions as well as the acceleration of economic growth, the reduction of inequality and the eradication of widespread poverty.
q. Sustainable Human Development – refers to the totality of the process of expending human choices by enabling people to enjoy long, healthy and productive lives, affording them access to resources needed for a decent standard of living and assuring continuity and acceleration of development by achieving a balance between and among a manageable population, adequate resources and a healthy environment.
r. Population Development – refers to a program that aims to: (1) help couples and parents achieve their desired family size; (2) improve reproductive health of individuals by addressing reproductive health problems; (3) contribute to decreased maternal and infant mortality rates and early child mortality; (4) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy; and (5) enable government to achieve a balanced population distribution.
SEC. 5. The Commission on Population (POPC0NI). – Pursuant to the herein declared policy, the Commission on Population (POPCOM) shall serve as the central planning, coordinating, implementing and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development. In the implementation of this policy, POPCOM, which shall be an attached agency of the Department of Health (DOH) shall have the following functions:
a. To create an enabling environment for women and couples to make an informed choice regarding the family planning method that is best suited to their needs and personal convictions;
b. To integrate on a continuing basis the interrelated reproductive health and population development agenda into a national policy, taking into account regional and local concerns;
c. To provide the mechanism to ensure active and full participation of the private sector and the citizenry through their organizations in the planning and implementation of reproductive health care and population development programs and projects;
d. To ensure people’s access to medically safe, legal, quality and affordable reproductive health goods and services;
e. To facilitate the involvement and participation of non-government organizations and the private sector in reproductive health care service delivery and in the production, distribution and delivery of quality reproductive: health and family planning supplies and commodities to make them accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens;
f. To fully implement the Reproductive Health Care Program with the following components:
(1) Reproductive health education including but not limited to counseling on the full range of legal and medically-safe family planning methods including surgical methods;
(2) Maternal, pen-natal and post-natal education, care and services;
(3) Promotion of breastfeeding;
(4) Promotion of male involvement, participation and responsibility in reproductive health as well as other reproductive health concerns of men;
(5) Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications; and
(6) Provision of information and services addressing the reproductive health needs of the poor, senior citizens, women in prostitution, differently-abled persons, and women and children in war AND crisis situations.
g. To ensure that reproductive health services are delivered with a full range of supplies, facilities and equipment and that service providers are adequately trained for reproductive health care;
h. To endeavor to furnish local Family Planning Offices with appropriate information and resources to keep the latter updated on current studies and research relating to family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition;
i. To direct all public hospitals to make available to indigent mothers who deliver their children in these government hospitals, upon the mothers request, the procedure of ligation without cost to her;
j. To recommend the enactment of legislation and adoption of executive measures that will strengthen and enhance the national policy on reproductive health and population development;
k. To ensure a massive and sustained information drive on responsible parenthood and on all methods and techniques to prevent unwanted, unplanned and mistimed pregnancies, it shall release information bulletins on the same for nationwide circulation to all government departments, agencies and instrumentalities, non-government organizations and the private sector, schools, public and private libraries, tri-media outlets, workplaces, hospitals and concerned health institutions;
l. To strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, high-quality, accessible, and affordable reproductive health services and commodities with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and mechanisms;
m. To take active steps to expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), especially among poor and marginalized women, to include the full range of reproductive health services and supplies as health insurance benefits; and
n. To perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act.
The membership of the Board of Commissioners of POPCOM shall consist of the heads of the following AGENCIES:
1. National Economic DevelopmentAuthority (VEDA)
2. Department of Health (DOH)
3. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
4. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
5. Department of Agriculture (DA)
6. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
7. Department of Education (DepEd)
8. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
9. Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
10. University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI)
11. Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAFI)
12. National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPQ
13. National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW)
14. National Youth Commission (NYC)