Draft Text - Consensus Bill on Population - PCPD | Family Planning | Family



Senate S.B. No.___ _______________________________________________________________________ _Introduced by Honorable ___________________ _______________________________________________________________________

AN ACT PROVIDING FOR ____________________________

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled: Section 1. Short Title. – This Act shall be known as the “Family Planning and Population Development Act” Section 2. Declaration of Policy. – It is hereby declared the policy of the State: To promote social justice in all phases of national development and address causes of poverty in our country; toward this end, the State shall seek a better quality of life for all Filipinos through poverty reduction strategies, of which family planning is a direct intervention; spread the concept of responsible parenthood and explain the practice and merits of family planning to individuals, couples, and their families, and assist couples and parents achieve their desired family size; To extend priority attention and assistance at all levels of government to the poorer communities; National Government shall provide local government units (LGUs) with counterpart funding for dissemination of information on family planning and for providing access to medically safe, effective and legally approved family planning services including, but not limited to, natural family planning, at the barangay level; To ensure access by the poorest couples and families, through their local government units (LGUs), to their free and informed choice of legally approved methods and services with which to plan their families; To recognize women’s role in nation-building, promote gender empowerment and equality and respect their rights in accordance with international human rights obligations 1

and existing national laws; To strengthen education of the youth in age appropriate manner and reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy, early marriage and other reproductive health-related problems. Section 3. Definitions. – For purposes of this Act, the following terms shall be defined as: Abortifacient – a substance or device used to induce abortion. Family Planning – a way of regulating, limiting, and spacing the births of children and affords parents to choose the number of children they want, based on their capacity to provide for their basic needs. It is also a way of helping couples with some difficulties to achieve a pregnancy. Human Capital consists of health, education and skills that affect an individual productivity and opportunity to have gainful employment. Among the areas of human development requiring urgent attention are problem of child malnutrition and poor school participation among the children of low-income families, support for activities promoting greater gender equity, and creation of greater opportunities of women development and employment. Natural Family Planning uses couple methods as responsibility for family planning rests on the shoulders of both partners. The method does not use any chemical, drug or device, leaves the natural process of the reproductive system undisturbed as it relies on the natural signs and symptoms within a woman in identifying the times of fertility and infertility. Responsible Parenthood – a shared responsibility between husband and wife to determine and achieve the desired number and spacing of their children and to rear their children according to their own family situation and life’s aspirations. It takes into account psychological preparedness, health status and socio-cultural and economic concerns. Reproductive Health – a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of reproductive disease or infirmity. It deals with the reproductive processes, functions and systems at all stage of life. This implies that people are able to enjoy responsible and safe sex, that they have the capability to have children and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so, particularly in the context of responsible parenthood and a satisfying family life. This further implies that women and men attain equal relationships in matters related to sexuality and reproduction. Sexuality – the condition that recognizes the physiological, functional and psychological differences that distinguish the male and female. Social Justice - creates a just and equitable society which respects the rights and freedom of each individual, eliminates poverty by providing each one, particularly the 2

poor, opportunities and resources to improve not only the quality of his life but also of the future generation, and changes institutions and structures to attain these objectives. Total Fertility Rate – the number of births a woman would have, on average, at the end of her reproductive years if she experienced the current prevailing birth rates among women age 15 – 49. Wanted Fertility – an estimate based on responses to household surveys that ask mothers whether births are planned or wanted at the time of birth. Wealth Quintile – each successive 20% of the population from the poorest (lowest) to the most affluent. Section 4. The Commission on Population- Composition The Commission on Population (POPCOM) shall continue to be an attached agency of the Department of Health. It shall have a Board of Directors headed by the Secretary of Health as Chair and the Secretary of Social Welfare and Development as Vice Chair. The members shall be the Secretaries of the Departments of: Education, Interior and Local Government, Labor and Employment. The Board of Directors shall meet at least once each year to review population development trends, establish appropriate policies for POPCOM operations, and promote coordination among population development activities of national agencies The Board may create a management body which would meet periodically to oversee POPCOM programs and services on family planning, track population development statistics, hold consultations with non-governmental organizations and recommend to the Board appropriate changes in policy directions to improve effectiveness, quality and speed of response of government programs to the needs of the poor. The composition of the management body shall be determined by the Board from among national agencies and organizations representing local government executives . Section 5. Functions To ensure full compliance of its mandates as defined by law, the POPCOM shall be reorganized and strengthened to recommend and design policies, track population development and coordinate family planning activities. It will continue its coordinative function for the population program, in partnership with LGUs, to assist in the provision of family planning education and provide access to methods and services for effective family planning at the local level. In coordination with the concerned agencies, POPCOM will train service providers, monitor the provision of all appropriate family planning interventions at all government levels and assist the appropriate line agencies in allocating and monitoring budget support to LGUs for family planning, and


The Department of Social Welfare and Development shall assist in identification of the poor communities which should be accorded priority. Thereupon, POPCOM shall recommend to the Board the quantities of family planning commodities to be supplied to each LGU. POPCOM shall distribute to the various LGUs, through its existing regional warehouses, their allotted family planning commodities procured out of the national budget. The LGUs shall allot specific budget for their provision of information, counseling, and family planning services in the poorer communities. Section 6. Secretariat - The POPCOM shall be supported by a Secretariat, headed by an Executive Director who shall have the rank of Undersecretary and shall be an ex-officio member of the POPCOM Board. The Secretariat shall provide technical and administrative support to the POPCOM.

Section 7. Roles of local government in family planning efforts.Local government units 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 POPCOM shall coordinate with local government units (LGUs) to ensure implementation of family planning programs and an adequate provision of required commodities and services; provided that any article or substance found by Department of Health to be abortifacient shall be excluded from procurement by national government. Local government units (LGUs) are encouraged to create population offices to carry out the provisions of this Act. Section 8. Integration of Family Planning and Responsible Parenthood Component in Anti-Poverty Programs A multi-dimensional approach shall be adopted in the development and implementation of policies and programs to fight poverty. Towards this end, POPCOM shall endeavor to integrate a family planning and responsible parenthood component into all anti-poverty programs of government, with corresponding fund support. POPCOM shall provide such programs technical support, including capacity-building and monitoring. Section 9. Population, Sexuality and Reproductive Health EducationThe Department of Education (DepEd) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED) shall strengthen the existing curriculum and learning modalities of population, sexuality 4

and reproductive health education. Likewise, an equivalent curriculum for the alternative learning system and vocational/technical educational system shall be designed. Resources to sustain their utilization shall be ensured. The learning modules shall be age-appropriate and competency-based. They will deepen understanding of population and its impact on human development and capacitate young people to lead healthy and productive lives. Life skills like critical thinking for the prevention and reduction of risky behaviors that may result in teenage pregnancies, early marriages, and other health problems shall be part of the learning modules. Private schools, following basic competencies and age–appropriate guidelines for population, sexuality and reproductive health education, may propose and develop their own instructional materials, subject to DepEd and CHED approval. Section 10. Monitoring of Compliance of this Act. – The POPCOM in coordination with other government agencies shall submit to Congress regular reports on the progress of the implementation of this Act. An Oversight Committee is hereby created to periodically oversee the implementation of this Act. The Committee shall be co-chaired by the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography and House Committee on Population and Family Relations, the Minority leaders of both houses and their respective representatives in the minority. Section 11. Implementing Rules and Regulations. – As the lead agency, the Department of Health and POPCOM shall, in coordination with all departments and agencies herein mentioned, formulate the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of this Act within ninety (90) days after its effectivity. Section 12. Separability Clause. – If any provision or part hereof is held invalid or unconstitutional, the remainder of the law or the provision not otherwise affected shall remain valid and subsisting. Section 13. Repealing Clause. – Republic Act No. 6365 and Presidential Decree No. 79 are hereby repealed. Any other law, presidential decree or issuance, executive order, letter of instruction, administrative order, rule or regulation contrary to, or inconsistent with the provisions of this Act is hereby repealed, modified, or amended accordingly. Section 14. Effectivity Clause. – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation. Approved.

21 September version


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