Strengthening the implementation of Republic Act No. 10354 otherwise known as the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) law is part of President Duterte’s Ten (10)-Point Socio-Economic Agenda.

Dr. Ernesto M. Pernia, former Secretary of Socioeconomic Planning and former Director-General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), said that if the law was not implemented properly, the Philippines would be unable to meet its poverty reduction target. The government hopes to reduce poverty to thirteen percent (13%) by the end of President Duterte’s six (6)-year term in 2022, the former socio-economic manager added.

The Philippines has 6 million women, of which two (2) million are poor and have unmet need for any modern method of contraception, and remain unable to fully exercise their reproductive rights, the Executive Order stated, citing Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) findings from 2013.

On January 9. 2017, President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Executive Order No. 12 entitled Attaining and Sustaining “Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning” through the Strict Implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, Providing Funds therefore, and for Other Purposes.  It provided funds and support for modern family planning (FP) to strengthen and fast-track needed actions to attain and sustain ‘zero (or near zero) unmet need for modern FP’ for all poor households.

Among the strategies was to identify couples and individuals in need of FP services by collaborative efforts of the Department of Health (DOH), Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).  Thus, the government reach out to all couples so that they will be provided FP services thereby helping couples achieve the number of children that they desire and the spacing that it would need.   

The order seeks to mobilize the DOH, POPCOM and DILG in implementing “quality modern FP information and services.” It called for the agencies to locate individuals with unmet needs, mobilize local structures, conduct demand generation and referral activities, and partner with the private sector.

The DOH is tasked by the EO to “review the gaps in the implementation of the RPRH law, issue corresponding orders and guidelines, and implement interventions to support local government units (LGUs) and civil society organizations (CSOs).”

The Department of Education (DepED) is also tasked to implement a “gender sensitive and rights-based” sexuality education in schools.

The DSWD set to integrate the law’s strategies in the national poverty reduction and social protection programs.

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) is expected to “promote reproductive health rights.”

The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will “implement benefit packages that ensure maximum benefits for family planning services.”

POPCOM will adopt the attainment of “zero unmet need for modern family planning as a population management strategy.”  The Philippines has a population of over 109 million.

The order provides that funds for the implementation of the plan “shall be sourced from available funds of the agencies concerned,” although future expenses are to be included in budget proposals. It also said that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) “may realign and augment appropriations” in accordance with regulation.

    Reference/Source:  Duterte orders full implementation of modern family planning by 2018

                                                             Article by Regine Cabato, CNN Philippines

                                                             Published January 11, 2017 9:20:55 PM