Republic of the Philippines

HOUSEOFREPRESENTATIVES
Quezon City, Metro Manila
FOURTEENTHCONGRESS
FIRSTRE13ULAR SESSION
HOUSEBILLNO.

504,
(In substitution to HBNOs. 17, 012y 2753 1k 3970)
Introduced by Honorables Had C Lagmaj Wneettte L. Germ, Nardso D. Santiago III, Mark
Liandro Mendoza, Ana Theresia Hontiveros-Baraquel, Ek!andro Jesus F. Madrona
ANACT
PROVIDINGFOR ANATIONAL POLICYONREPRODUCTIVEHEALTH,
RESPONSIBLEPARENTHOODANDPOPULATIONDEVELOPMENT.. ANDFOR
OTHER PURPOSES
&t enacted by the Senate and the . Douse of Representatives of the
Philippines in
Congress assembled. '
1

SECTION 1. Short Title. - This Act shall be known as the ""Reproductive Health
2

and Population Development Act of 2008".
3
4

SEC . 2. Declaration of Policy . - The State upholds and promotes responsible
5 parienthood, informed choice, birth spacing and respect for life in conformity with
6

internationally recognized human rights standards.
7
8

The State shall uphold the right of the people, particularly women and their
9 organizations, to effective and reasonable participation in the formulation and
10

implementation of the declared policy .
11
12

This policy is - anchored on the rabonale that sustainable human development is
13

better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens .
14
15

The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable
16

and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant
17

information thereon even as it prioritizes the. needs of women and children, among other
18

underprivileged sectors.
19
20

SEC . 3. Guiding Principles . - This Act declares the following as basic guiding
21 principles :
22

a.

In the promotion of reproductive health, there should be no bias for either
23

modern or natural methods of family planning;
24

b.

Reproductive health goes beyond a demographic target because it is principally
25

about health and rights ;
26

c. Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements of
27

reproductive health and population development;
28

d.

Since manpower is the principal asset of every country, effective reproductive
I

health care services must be given primacy to ensure the birth and care of
2

healthy children and to promote responsible parenting ;
3

e.

The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to, be spread so thinly
4

to service a burgeoning MititUde that makes the allocations grossly inadequate
5

and effectively meaningless ;
6

f,

Freedom of infon'ned choice, which is central to the exercise of any right, must
7

be fully guaranteed by the State like the right itsellf ;
8

g .

While the number and spacing of children are left to the sound judgment of
9

parents and couples based on their personal conviction and religious beliefs,
10

such concerned parents and couples, including unmarried individuals, should be
11

afforded bee and full access to relevant, adequate and correct information on
12

reproductive health and human sexuality and should be guided by qualified
13

State workers and professional private practitioners ;
14

h .

Reproductive health, including the promotion of breastfeeding, must be the
15

joint concern of the National Government and Local Government Units (LGUs) ;
16

L

Protection and promotion of gender equality, wory6n empowerment and human
17

rights, including reproductive health rights, are imperative ;
18

j .

Development is a mints-faceted process that calls for the coordination and
19

integration of policies, plans, programs and projects that seek to uplift the
20

quality of life of the people, more particularly the p: )or, the needy and the
21 marginalized ;
22

k. Active participation by and thorough consultation with concerned non-
23

government organizations (NGOs), people's organizations (POs) and
24

communities are imperative to ensure that basic policies, plans, programs and
25

projects
address the priority needs of stakeholders;
26

1 .

Respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights seek to
27

promote not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but
28

those of adolescents' and children's as well ; and
29

m.

While nothing in this Act charigesi . the law on abortion, as abortion remains a
30

Mme and ispunishable, thego wernment shall ensure that women seeking care
31

for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane,
32

non-judgmental and compassionate manner.
33
34

SEC. 4, Definition of Terms . - For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall
35

be defined as follows :
36
37

a .

Responsible Parenthood - refers to the will, ability and cornmitTrient of parents to
38

respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children more particularly
39

through family planning,
40
41

V

Family Planning - refers to a program which enables couple , ; and individuals to
42

decide freely and responsibly the nUmber and spacing of their children and to have
43

the information and means to carry out their decisions, and 'to have informed choice
44

and access to a full range of safe, legal and effective family planning methods,
45

techniques and devices .
-46
47

c.

Reproductive Health - refers to the state of physical, mental and social well-being
48

and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the
49

reproductive system and to its funcitions and processes . This implies that people are
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d.

Reproductive Health Rights - 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

al and reproductive 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 .
9.
able to have a satisfy ing 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 .
Reproductive Health Care - refers to the availability of and access to e full range of
methods, techniques, supplies and services that contribute to reproductive and
sexual health and well- being by preventing and solving reproductive health- related
problems in order to achieve enhancement of life and personal relations . The
elements of reproductive health care include:
1 .

Maternal, infant and child health and nutrition ;
2.

Promotion of breastfeeding ;
3 ,

Family planning information end services ;
4.

Prevention of abortion and management of post- abortion complications ;
5 .

Adolescent and y outh 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 and reproductive health ;
9 .

Treatment of breast and reproductive tract cancers and other gy necological
conditions;
10. Male involvement and participation in reproductive health; ,
11 . Prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual dy sfunction ; and
12.

Reproductive health education for the y outh.
h . Reproductive Health Education - refers to the process of acquiring complete,
accurate and relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive sy stem,
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 my ths 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 .
.

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1

procedure of ligation without cost ; to her;
2

j
.

To recommend the enactment of legislation and adoption of executive measures
3

that will strengthen and enhance the national poliei on reproductive health and
4

population development;
5

k. To ensure a massive and sustained information drive on responsible parenthood
6

and on all methods and techniques to prevent unwanted, unplanned and
7

mistimed pregnancies, it shall release information bulletins on the same for
8

nationwide circulation to all government departments, agencies and
9

instrumentalities, non-government organizations and the private sector, schools,
10

public and private libraries, ltri-media outlets, workplaces, hospitals and
11

concerned health institutions ;
12

i .

To strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, high-
13

quality, accessible, and affordable reproductive health services and commodities
14

with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and
15 mechanisms ;

.
16

m. To take active steps to expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance
17

Program (NHIP), especially among poor and marginalized women, to include the
18

full range of reproductive health services and supplies as health insurance
19

benefits; and
20

n . To perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act .
21
22

The membership of the Board of Commissioners of POPCOM shall consist of the
23 heads of the following AGENCIES:
24
25

1 .

National Economic Development Authority (VEDA)
26

2 .

Department of Health (DOH)
27

3.

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
28

4.

Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)
29

5 .

Department of Agriculture (DA)
30

6.

Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG)
31

7.

Department of Education (DepEd)
32

8.

Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)
33

9.

Commission on Higher Education (CHED)
34

10.

University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI)
35

11.

Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAFI)
36

12 . National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPQ
37

13.

National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW)
38

14.

National Youth Commission (NYC)
39
40

In addition to the aforementioned, members, there shall be three private sector
41

representatives to the Board of Commissioners of POPCOM who shall come from NGOs .
42

There shall be one (1) representative each from women, youth and health sectors who
43

have a proven track record of involvement in the promotion of reproductive health . These
44

representatives shall be nominated in a process determined by the above-mentioned
45

sectors, and to be appointed by the President for a term of three
(: 3)
years.
46
47

SEC. 6. Midwives for Skilled Attendance -- Every city and municipality shall
48 endeavor to employ adequate number of midwives or other skilled attendants to achieve a
49 minimum ratio of one (1) for every one hundred fifty (150) deliveries per year, to be based
6
1

on the average annual number of actual d eli veri es or li ve bi rths for the pas t two years .
2
3

SEC. 7. Emergency Obs tetri c Care - Each provi nce. and ci ty s hall end eavor to
4 ens ure the es tabli s hment and operati on of hos pi tals wi th ad equate and quali fi ed pers onnel
5 that provi d e emergency obs tetri c care . For every 500,000 populati on, there s hall be at leas t
6 one (1 ) hos pi tal for comprehens i ve emergency obs tetri c care and four (4) hos pi tals for bas i c
7 emergency obs tetri c care .
8
9

SEC. 8 . Maternal Death Revi evrr - A ll LGli s , nati onal and local government
1 0 hos pi tals , and other publi c health uni ts s hall cond uct maternal d eath revi ew i n accord ance
1 1 wi th the gui d eli nes to be i s s ued by the DOHi n cons ultati on wi th the POPCOM.
1 2
1 3

SEC. 9 . Hos pi tal-Bas ed Fami ly Planni ng -Tubal li ga~ti on,'vas ectomy, i ntrauteri ne
1 4 d evi ce i ns erti on and other fami ly planni ng method s requi ri ng hos pi tal s ervi ces s hall be
1 5 avai lable i n all nati onal and local government hos pi tals , except: i n s peci alty hos pi tals whi ch
1 6 may rend er s uch s ervi ces on an opti onal bas i s . For i nd i gent pati ents , s uch s ervi ces s hall be
1 7 fully covered by Phi lHealth i ns urance and /or government fi nanci al as s i s tance .
1 8
1 9

SEC. 1 0 . Contracepti ves as Es s enti al Med i ci nes . - Hormonal contracepti ves ,
20 i ntrauteri ne d evi ces , i njectables and other alli ed reprod ucti ve health prod ucts and s uppli es
21 s hall be cons i d ered und er the category of es s e= nti al med i ci nes and s uppli es whi ch s hall form
22 part of the Nati onal Drug Formulary and the! s ame s hall be i nclud ed i n the regular purchas e
23 of es s enti al med i ci nes and s uppli es of all nati onal and lord hos pi tals and other government
24 health uni ts .
25
26

SEC. 1 1 . Mobi le Health Care Servi ce . - Each Congres s i onal Di s tri ct s hall be
27

provi d ed wi th a van to be known as the Mobi le Health Care Servi ce (MHOS) to d eli ver
28

health care good s and s ervi ces to i ts cons ti tuents , more parti cularly to the poor and need y,
29

as well as d i s s emi nate knowled ge and i nformati on on reprod ucti ve health : Provi d ed , That
30

reprod ucti ve health ed ucati on s hall be cond ucted by competent and ad equately trai ned
31

pers ons preferably reprod ucti ve health care! provi d ers : Phovi d W, further; That the full range
32

of fami ly planni ng method s , both natural and mod ern, s hall be prornotai .
33
34

The acqui s i ti on, operati on and mai ntenance of the MRCS s hall be fund ed from the
35

Pri ori ty Development A s s i s tance Fund (PDA F) of each Congres s i onall Di s tri ct .
36
37

The MHCS s hall be ad equately equi pped wi th a wi d e range of reprod ucti ve health
38

care materi als and i nformati on d i s s emi nati on d evi ces and equi pment, the latter i nclud i ng
39

but not li mi ted to, a televi s i on s et for aud i o-vi s ual pres entati on .
40
41

SEC. 1 2 . Mand atory A ge-A ppropri ate Reprod ucti ve Health Ed ucati on. -
42

Recogni zi ng the i mportance of reprod ucti ve health ri ghts i n empoweri ng the youth and
43 d evelopi ng them i nto res pons i ble ad ults , Reprod ucti ve Health Ed ucati on i n an age-
44

appropri ate manner s hall be taught by ad equately trai ned teachers s tarti ng from Grad e 5
45

up to Fourth Year Hi gh School . In ord er to as s ure the pri or trai ni ng of teachers on
46

reprod ucti ve health, the i mplementati on of Reprod ucti ve Health Ed ucati on s hall commence
47

at the s tart of the s chool year one year followi ng the effecti vi ty of thi s A ct. The POPCOM, i n
48

coord i nati on wi th the Department of Ed ucati on, s hall formulate the Reprod ucti ve Health
49

Ed ucati on curri culum, whi ch s hall be common to both publi c and pri vate s chools and s hall
7
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in c l u d e r e l a t e d popu l a t ion a n d d e ve l opme n t c on c e pt s in a d d it ion t o t he f ol l ow in g su b j e c t s
a n d st a n d a r d s:
a . Re pr od u c t ive he a l t h a n d se x u a l r ig ht s;
b. Re pr od u c t ive he a l t h c a r e a n d se r vic e s;
C. At t it u d e s, b e l ie f s a n d va l u e s on se x u a l d e ve l opme n t , se x u a l b e ha vior a n d se x u a l
Myt h ;
d . P r osc r ipt ion a n d ha za r d s of a b or t ion a n d ma n a g e me n t of post - a b or t ion
c ompl ic a t ion s;
e . Re spon sib l e pa r e n t h
f.

Use a n d a ppl ic a t ion of n a t u r a l a n d mod e r n f a mil y pl a n n in g me t hod s t o pr omot e
r e pr od u c t ive he a l t h, a c hie ve d e sir e d f a mil y size a n d pr e ve n t u n w a n t e d ,
u n pl a n n e d a n d mist ime d
pr e g n a n c ie s;
g . Ab st in e n c e b e f or e ma r r ia g e ;
h . P r e ve n t ion a n d t r e a t me n t of H1 1 V/AIDS a n d ot he r , STIs/STDs, pr ost a t e c a n c e r ,
b r e a st c a n c e r , c e r vic a l c a n c e r a n d ot he r g yn e c ol og ic a l d isor d e r s;
i .

Re spon sib l e se x u a l it y; a n d
j .

Ma t e r n a l , pe r i- n a t a l a n d post - n a t a l e d u c a t ion , c a r e a n d se r vic e s
In su ppor t of t he n a t u r a l , a n d pr ima r y r ig ht of pa ye n t a in t he P Eor in g of t he you t h,
t he P OP COM sha l l pr ovid e c on c e r n e d pa r e n t s w it h a d e qu a t e a n d r e l e va n t sc ie n t if ic
ma t e r ia l s on t he a g e - a ppr opr ia t e t opic s a n d ma n n e r of t e a c hin g r e pr od u c t ive he a l t h
e d u c a t ion t o t he ir c hil d r e n .
In t he e l e me n t a r y l e ve l , r e pr
va l u e s f or ma t ion .
Non - f or ma l e d u c a t ion pr og r a ms sha l l l ik e w ise in c l u d e t he a b ove me n t ion e d
r e pr od u c t ive He a l t h Ed u c a t ion .
u c t ive he a l t h e d u c a t ion sha l l f oc u s, a mon g ot he r s, on
SEC, 1 3 . Ad d it ion a l Du t y of Fa mil y P l a n n in g 0f f ic e . - Ea c h l oc a l Fa mil y
P l a n n in g Of f ic e sha l l f u r n ish
f or
f r e e in st r u c t ion s a n d in f or ma t ion on f a mil y pl a n n in g ,
r e spon sib l e pa r e n t hood , b r e a st f e e d in g a n d in f a n t n u t r it ion t or r id l y t o a l l a ppl ic a n t s f or
ma r r ia g e l ic e n se .
SEC. 1 4. Ce r t if ic a t e of Compl oa n f .,: e . - No ma r r ia g e l ic e n se sha l l b e issu e d b y t he
Loc a l Civil Re g ist r a r u n l e ss t he a ppl ic a n t s pr e se n t a Ce r t if ic a t e of Compl ia n c e issu e d f or f r e e
b y t he l oc a l Fa mil y P l a n n in g Of f ic e . c e r t if yin g t ha t t he y, ha d d u l y r e c e ive d a d e qu a t e
in st r u c t ion s a n d in f or ma t ion on f a mil y pl a n n in g , r e spon sib l e pa r e n t hood , b r e a st f e e d in g a n d
in f a n t n u t r it ion .
SEC. 1 5 . Ca pa b il it y Bu il d in g of Commu n it y- Ba se d Vol u n t e e r Wor k e r s. -
Commu n it y- b a se d vol u n t e e r w or k e r s, l ik e b u t n ot l imit e d t o, Ba r a n g a y He a l t h Wor k e r s,
sha l l u n d e r g o a d d it ion a l a n d u pd a t e d t r a in in g on t he d e l ive r y of r e pr od u c t ive he a l t h c a r e
se r vic e s a n d sha l l r e c e ive n ot l e ss t ha n 1 0% in c r e a se in hon or a r il a u pon su c c e ssf u l
c ompl e t ion of t r a in in g . The in c r e a se in hon or a r ia sha l l b e f u n d e d f r om t he Ge n d e r a n d
De ve l opme n t (GAD) b u d g e t of t he Na t ion a l Ec on omic a n d De ve l opme n t Au t hor it y (NEDA),
De pa r t me n t of He a l t h (DOH) a n d t he De pa r t me n t of t he In t e r ior a n d Loc a l Gove r n me n t
(DILG) .
1
2

SEC. 16 . Ideal Family Size. - The State shall assist couples, parents and
3

individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood
4

for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family
5

size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive; action
6

shall be imposed on parents having more than two children .
7
8

SEC. 17. Employers' Responsibilities. - Employers shall respect the reproductive
9

health rights of all their workers . Women shall not be discriminated against. in the matter of
10

hiring, regularization of employment status or selection for retrenchment.
11
12

All Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs) shall provide for the free delivery by the
13

employer of reasonable quantity of reproductive health care services, supplies and devices
14

to all workers, more particularly women workers . In establishments or enterprises where
15

there are no CBAs or where the employees are unorganized, the employer shall have the
16

same obligation.
17
18

SEC. 18. Support of Private and Non-government Health Care Service
19

Providers. - Pursuant to Section 5(b) hereof, private reproductive health care service
20

providers, including but not limited to gynecologists and obstetricians, arse encouraged to
21

join their colleagues in non-government organizations in rendering such services free of
22

charge or at reduced professional fee rates to indigent and low income patients .
23
24

SEC. 19. Multi-Media Campaign. POPCOM shall initiate and sustain an intensified
25

nationwide multi-media campaign to raise the level of public awareness on the urgent need
26

to protect and promote reproductive health and rights .
27
28

SEC. 20. Reporting Requirements . - Before the end of April of each year, the
29

DOH shall submit an annual report to the President of the Philippines, the President of the
30

Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives on a definitive and comprehensive
31 assessment of the implementation of this Act and shall make the necessary
32

recommendations for executive and legislative action . The report shall be posted in the
33

website of DOH and printed copies shall be made available to all stakeholders .
34
35

SEC. 21 . Prohibited Acts . -The following acts are prohibited:
36

a) Anyhealth care service provider, whether public or private, who shall:
37

1 . Knowingly withhold information or impede the dissemination thereof, and/or
38

intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on
39

reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full
40

range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods ;
41

2. Refuse to perform voluntary ligation and vasectomy and other legal and
42

medically-safe reproductive health care services on any person of legal age on
43

the ground of lack of spousal consent or authorization .
44

3. Refuse to provide reproductive health care services to an abused minor,
45

whose abused condition is certified by the proper official or personnel of the
46

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) . or to duly CISWD
47

certified abused pregnant minor on whose case no parental consent is
48 necessary,
49

4. Fall to provide, either deliberately or through gross or inexcusable negligence,
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reproductive health care services as mandated under this Act, the Local
Government Code of 1991, the Labor Code, and Presidential Decree 79, as
amended ; and
5. Refuse to extend reproductive health care services and information on
account of the patient' s civil status, gender or sexual orientation, age,
religion, personal circumstances, and nature of work; Provided, That all
conscientious objections of health care service providers based on religious
grounds shall be respected : Prosiaed, further, That the conscientious objector
shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another
health care service provider within the same facility or one which is
conveniently accessible : Provided, Madly, That the patient is not in an
emergency or serious case- as defined in RA 8344 penalizing the refusal of
hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical
treatment and support in emergency and serious cases.
b) Any public official who prohibits or restricts personally or through a subordinate the
delivery of legal and medically- safe reproductive health care services, including
family planning;

.
c) Any employer who shall fail to comply with his obligation under Section 17 of this
Act or an employer who requires a female applicant or employee, as a condiWn for
employment or continued employment, to involuntarily undergo sterilization, tubal
ligation or any other form of contraceptive method;
d) Any person who shall falsify a certificate of compliance as required in Section 14 of
this Act; and
e) Any person who maliciously en
of this Act.
ges in disinformation about the intent or provisions
SEC. 22. Penalties . - The proper city or municipal court shall exercise jurisdiction
over violations of this Act and the accused who is found guilty shall be sentenced to an
imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine ranging from Ten
Thousand Pesos (P10,000. 00) to F ifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000: 00) or both such fine and
imprisonment at the discretion of the court. I f the offender is a juridical person, the penalty
shall be imposed upon the president, surer, secretary or any responsible officer . An
offender who is an alien shall, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without
further proceedings by the Bureau of I mmigration . An offender who is a public officer or
employee shall suffer the accessory penalty of dismissal from the government service .
Violators of this Act shall be civilly liable to the offended party in such amount at the
discretion of the proper court.
SEC. 23, Appropriations . - The amounts appropriated in the current annual
General Appropriations Act for reproductive health and family planning under the DOI H and
POPCOM together with teen percent (10%) of the Gender and Development (GAD) budgets
of all government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices and instrumentalities funded in
the annual General Appropriations Act in accordance with Republic Act No . 7192 (Women in
Development and Nation- building Act) and Executive Order No. 273 (Philippine Plan for
Gender Responsive Development 1995- 2025) shall be allocated and utilized fo,r the
implementation of this Act . Such additional sums as may be necessary for the effective
implementation of this Act shall be I ncluded in the subsequent years' General
Appropriations Acts.
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SEC, 25 . Separability Clause. -if any part, section or provision of this Act is held
9

invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not af f ected thereby shall remain in f ull f orce
10

and ef f ect.
11
1. 2

SEC. 26 . Repealing Clause. - All laws, decrees, Orders, issuances, rules and
13

regulations contrary to or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed,
14

amended or modif ied accordingly.
15
16

SEC. 27, Macdarity. -- This Act shall take ef f ect f if teen ('45) days af ter its
17

publication in at least two (2) newspapers of national circulation.
18
19 Approved,
SEC. 24. Implementing Rules and Regulations. -Within sixty (60) days f rom
the ef f ectivity of this Act, the Department of Health shall promulgate, af ter thorough
consultation with the Commission on Population (POPCOM), the National Economic
Crevelopment Authority (NEDA), concern( .: .,d non-government organizations (NGOs) and
known reproductive health advocates, the requisite implementing rules and regulations.
MY/
5: %VmydmQSub9AKeBill (asof Yne 18, 2008 132pm)
REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT ACTOF2008
OBJECTIVE/S :
"

To uphold and promote respect f or li f e, i nf ormed choi ce, b i rth spaci ng and responsi b le
parenthood i n conf ormi ty w i th i nternati onally recogni zed human ri ghts standards .
"

To guarantee uni v ersal access to medi cally - saf e, legal and q uali ty reproducti v e health
care serv i ces and relev ant i nf ormati on ev en as i t pri ori ti zes the needs of w omen and
chi ldren .
KEYPROVISIONS :
COMMITTEE ONHEALTH
FACT SHEET
HOUSE. B[LL NO.

5043
In Sub sti tuti on to HB NOs . 1 7 , 81 2, 27 53 & 397 0
(As Approv ed on _

)
"

Mandates the Populati on Commi ssi on, to b e an attached agency of the Department of
Health, to b e the central planni ng, coordi nati ng, i mplementi ng and moni tori ng b ody f or
ef f ecti v e i mplementati on of thi s Art .
"

Prov i des f or the creati on of an enab i ng env i ronment f or w omen and couples to make
an i nf ormed choi ce regardi ng the f ami ly planni ng method that i s b est sui ted to thei r
needs and personal conv i cti ons .
"

Prov i des f or a maternal death rev i ew i n LGUs, nati onal and local gov ernment hospi tals
and other pub li c health uni ts to decrease the i nci dence of maternal deaths .
"

En _ures the av ai lab i li ty of hospi tal- b ased f ami ly planni ng methods such as tub al
li gati on, v asectomy and i ntrauteri ne dev i ce i nserti on i n all nati onal and local
gov ernment hospi tals, except i n speci alty hospi tals .
"

Consi ders hormonal contracepti v es, i ntrauteri ne dev i ces, i nj ectab les and other alli ed
reproducti v e health products and suppli es under the category of essenti al medi ci nes
and suppli es to f orm part of the Nati onal Drug Formulary and to b e i ncluded i n the
regui ar purchase of essenti al medi ci nes and suppli es of all nati onal and local hospi tals
and other gov ernment health uni ts .
"

Prov i des f or a Mob i le Health Care Serv i ce i n ev ery Congressi onal Di stri ct to deli v er
health care goods and serv i ces .
" Prov i des Mandatory Age- appropri ate Reproducti v e Health Educati on starti ng f rom
Grade 5 to Fourth Year Hi gh School to dev elop the y outh i nto responsi b le adults .
"

Mandates the i nclusi on of the topi cs on b reastf eedi ng and i nf ant nutri ti on as essenti al
part of the i nf ormati on gi v en b y the Ci ty or Muni ci pal Of f i ce of the Fami ly Planni ng to
all appli cants f or marri age li cense .
"

Mandates no less than 1 0% i ncrease i n the honorari a of communi ty - b ased v olunteer
w orkers, such as the b arangay health w orkers, upon successf ul completi on of trai ni ng
on the deli v ery of reproducti v e health care serv i ces .
"

Penali zes the v i olator of thi s Act f rom one month to si x months i mpri sonment or a f i ne
rangi ng f rom ten thousand to f i f ty thousand pesos or b oth such f i ne and i mpri sonment
at the di screti on of the Couf ,
Fc4v ~ rn
: f f aci s?nt on RH b i lls as of August 1 4, 2008
n
Republic of the Philippines
USIE OFREPRESENTATUES
QUtezon City, Metro Manila
FOURTEENTHCONGRESS
FIFSTREGULAR SESSION
HOUSE
BILL
NO.

17
Introduced bv . 1401,140RABLE EDCELC . LAGMAN
EKPLANATORY NOTE
The present populatl6n of the awntry of 88. 7 m illion has galloped . from 60. 7 m illion 17
ago: This m akes the Philippines the . 12th m ost populous nation in the world today . The
Filipino wom en's fertility rate of 3. 059b is at the upper bracket of 206 countries. With four
babies born every m inute, the population is expected to balloon to an alarm ing 160 m illion in
2038.
It is worth noting, -however, that available studies, data and statistics show that the
Filipinos are responsive to having sm aller-sized fam ilies through free choice of fam ily planning
m ethods :
6. The desired fertility rate of Filipino wom en is 2. 5 children per wom an. However, the
actual total fertility, rate is 3. 5 or a difference, of one child
basically
because of the
lack of inform ation and atrwnce of access to fam ily planning . The current unm et
need for contraceptives for exam ple . is 23. 15% for poor wom en and 13. 6% for
waren who are not
poor
(2003 National Dem ographic and Health Survey)
b. 61% of currently -m arried wom en do not want additional children (2003 National
Dem ographic and Health Sun,ey)
,50 . 6% of the youth want to have only two children (2002, Young Adult Fertility and
Sexuality Survey)
d. 97°/b of all Filipinos believe it 1 ,s im portant to have the ability
to
control one's fertility
or to plan one's fam ily . It it;
significantto
note that. 87%of the total respondents are.
Rom an Catholic (February 2(01 Pulse Asia Survey)
e. Nearly nine in ten Filipino! ; or 8619% say that candidates for elective positions who-
advocate a program Jor ofornen's health should be supported while only 2% say
they should be rejected and 12%are undecided on the m atter;
f.

82%say that candidates in fav6r of couples' free' choice- of fam ily planning m ethods
should be supported while only 3%think otherwise and 150%are undecided;
g . 82% of Filipinos consider candidates supporting a law or m easure on population
issues worthy of their voltes while only 3% say such candidates should not be
backed at the polls and 15%are undecided;
h . 83% of Filipinos say they are in favor of candidates iAlho support the allocation of
gover m ent funds for fam ily planning while only 2% say they are not and 15%are
undecided; and
L

Am ere m w of - Filipinos tx. -libve that a candidate's cham pioning of fam ily planning
Issues will spell that candidate's defeatat the polls .
In 3uly 1991, the Social Weather Stations conducted a survey that revealed that
0
%wraf Fillphd' rwant ` to have the ability to control their fertitttjtacid plan their
families.
Notwithstanding these findings that favor smaller-sized families, this bill is not a
population control measure with the sole objective of Orniting population growth. Aprovides
for population development that aims to .
(a) help couples/parents achieve their desired fertility size in the context of responsible
parenthood;
(b) improve reproductive health of individuals and contribute to decreased maternal
mortality rate, infant mortality and early child mortality ;
(c) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy and other reproductive health problems;
and
(d) contribute to policies that will assist government to achieve a favorable balance
between population and distribution, economic activities and the environment.
This measure is not coercive . It ,gives couples the freedom to decide whether or not to
plan their families or space or limit their children . Those who decade to ,plan their families also
have the freedom to choose what method of contraception is best suited for them. The so
called "tyro child policy is voluntary, not compulsory ; suggestive, not coercive; and absolutely
not punitive . It is not even a policy . It is a suggested ideal or norm.
Accordingly, this bill seeks to provide the enabling environment for couples and
individuals to enjoy the basic right to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of
their children and to have the information, education, and access to safe, effective, affordable
and acceptable methods of family planning of their choice .
This proposed law aims to uphold and promote the four pillars of population and
development enunciated by no less than President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo herself in her
. tatement of support for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD)
namely : (1)responsible parenthood, (2)informed choice, (3) birth spacing, and (4) respect for
life,
it should be clarified however, that this bill does not only protect: the life of the unborn
from the moment of Implantation but that of the mother as well . Hence, the bill seeks to
promote the reproductive health of women basically through massive and sustained
information campaign on reproductive health rights, care, services and facilities coupled with
universal access to all methods of family planning ranging from the natural to the modern
which are medically safe and legally permissible-In the event they fail to prevent pregnancy
and resort to abortion, they shall be provided with appropriate health and medical care.
Despite the provision for humane and compassionate management of post abortion
complications, this bill continues to proscriibe and penalize abortion which is a crime under the
Revised Penal Code.
To contribute to the empowerment and responsible behavior of the youth, this
proposed legislation provides for age-appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education
that may be initiated by parents at house, and shall be sustained and complemented by formal
education in school .

.
An effective reproductive health education does not only instill consciousness of
freedom of choice but responsible exercise of one' s rights . According to the United Nations
Population Fund : "It has been, repeatedly shown that reproductive health education leads to
responsible behavior, higher levels of abstinence, later initiation of sexuality, higher use of
contraception, and fewer sexual partners, These good effeds are even greater when parents
can talk honestly with their children about sexual and reproductive mati: ers . "
To guarantee the right of all persons to a full range of information on family planning
methods, services and f acil ities and to ,ensure their access to an equal l y f ul l range of
medical l y' saf e and
.
ef f ective f amil y pl anning methods at an appropriate time and by competent
and adequatel y trined persons, the Al mandates the Commission on Popul ation (MP MM)tb
be the central pl anning, coordinating, impl ementing and morif ring body f or the
comprehensive and integrated pol icy on
reproductive heal th and popul ation devel opment .
Section 5 of the bil l specif ies the f unctions of POPCOM as the ' dead agency in the
impl ementation of the "*Reproductive Heal th, Responsibl e Parenthood and Popul ation
Devel opment Act of 2007".
This proposed Act doses not onl y seek to protect and promote reproductive heal th and
rights and to empower coupl es, individual s, more particul arl y women, and the youth, but it
al so aims to improve the qual ity of l if e of the peopl e in general .

Studies show that rapid
popi,il ation growth exacerbates poverty whil e poverty spavrns rapid popul ation growth.
Consider the f ol l owing :
UThe Famil y Income and Exf enditures Surveys by the National Statistics Of f ice (NSO)
f rom 1985-2000 discl ose that 57;3%of f amil ies having many chil dren are poor but
onl y 15. 7%of f amil ies having two chil dren are poor .
Large f amil y siz e is associated with negative determinant of school participation and
poor heal th and survival rates among chil dren . (Orbeta, ' Popul ation and the Fight
Against Poverty, 2003

'
O The preval ence of chil d l abor rises, and school attendance f al l s, with the nurn
chil dren in the f amil y (Rayrnundo 2004). Moreover, the odds of a chil d becoming
underweight and stunted are -greater if he/she bel ongs to a househol d with 5 or
more members (FNRI 1996). This partl y expl ains why poverty tends to be
transmitted and sustained f ¬ -orn one generation to the next.

;
®According to the UN Popul ation Fund 2002 Report, "l ower birth rates and sl ower
popul ation growth over the l ast. three decades
have contributed f aster econornic
progress in a number of devel oping countries . "
QMoreover, the same Report discl osed that f ertil ity decl ines accounted f l oc 1/5~ ' of the
economic growth in East Asia between 1960 and 1995 . Additional l y,. it showed that
countries that invest in heal th, incl uding reproductive heal th and f amil y pl anning,
and in education and women' s devel opment register sl ower popul ation growth and
f aster economic growth.
A consistent and coherent national popul ation pol icy al ong with sound monetary and
f iscal pol icies and good governance coul d propel our peopl e toward sustainabl e
human
devel opment.
Accordingl y, approval of this measure is earnestl y sought.

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