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PNGOC Releases "Position Paper in Support of the Reproductive Health Care Bill"

The Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare Inc. (PNGOC) just released its position paper supporting the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippines.  The RH Bill is an issue which the Catholic Church in the country greatly rejects and calls on possible civil disobedience in case the bill continue to prosper in Congress.

The PNGOC is a national umbrella organization with 95 member NGOs involved in the promotion of reproductive health care such as maternal and child health, family planning, men’s reproductive health, women empowerment, STI/HIV/AIDS, sexuality education, and gender and development calls for the enactment of a law on reproductive health. PNGOC boldly supports the passage of the bill filed by Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago entitled “An act providing for a national policy on reproductive health and population and development.”  Below is the position paper of the PNGOC.

1.Filipinos want an RH law

Various surveys have been done to realize the sentiments of Filipinos, including Catholics and showed that majority of Filipinos are supporting the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill into law.

Pulse Asia found that 68 percent of Filipinos expressed support for the proposed legislation on reproductive health and a survey conducted by the Social Weather System (SWS) from Dec. 27 to 29, 2008 showed that 86 percent of Manila residents are for the RH Bill. The survey also revealed an overwhelming 92 percent in favor of an adolescent health education for students aged 15 to 24.

PNGOC believes that we need a solid bill to help our constituents especially women and girls to have a brighter tomorrow. Once the RH bill has been passed, we believe that this legislated policy can provide stability of programs, regardless of who sits as president, Cabinet or Local Government official. In addition, it will recognize the basic right of all individuals and couples to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children. It also intends to recognize the right of all individuals to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence.

2.Filipinos have the right to be in charge of their own reproductive decisions

The RH Bill gives individuals and couples the freedom of choice over their own body. The bill gives every Filipino respect and self-determination by ensuring that there is an enabling environment where Filipino can make their own informed decision on how to raise their own family, without coercion or fear.

The bill will enable every individual and couples the right whether or not they want to have children, how many children they will have and the space between their births through an effective reproductive health program.

3.Filipinos need universal access to reproductive health services and information.

The bill will provide medically-safe, accessible and affordable and quality reproductive health care services and information for all couples. It will give access, without bias, all modern methods of family planning and thus provide timely, complete and accurate information on reproductive health. It mandates local government units to appropriate funds for reproductive health services.

The bill will save the lives of mothers and children. Currently, there are 11 women dying daily while giving birth in the country. These deaths can be avoided if more Filipino women have access to reproductive health information and health care.

The bill can prevent early pregnancies, unwanted pregnancies and abortion. The bill will help reduce the number of abortions by providing increased access to information and services on modern contraceptive methods that in turn will reduce the number of unwanted and often aborted pregnancies in the country.

The bill can save the future of our youth. It will help couples be responsible parents in providing a stable and happy home for their children.

4.Filipinos are ensured of an effective reproductive health education.

The bill will provide an effective reproductive health education which is age-appropriate, correct and has accurate information on sexuality and reproductive health which will make the youth better aware of their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).

The bill will make the youth more responsible with their reproductive health and will equip them in making informed choices on reproductive health by providing them with information and skills about taking care of their reproductive and sexual health, and thus aiding them to make sound decisions now and in the future.

Finally, we call on our legislators in Congress and in the Senate to pass the RH Bill. Having a good and sound Reproductive Health Care Act is a way for the Philippine Government to help its constituents in providing them complete, accurate and relevant information on Reproductive Health. It will also provide opportunity for young people to develop and understand their values, attitudes and beliefs about their sexuality. Furthermore, it will also be able to help the young people develop relationships and harness their interpersonal skills and will help the youth exercise their responsibility regarding sexual relationships, intercourse and the use of contraception and other sexual health measures.

Philippine NGO Council will continue to promote to all its networks of NGOs, partner organizations and communities nationwide to support for a Reproductive Health Care Act.


Dr. Eden Divinagracia, Executive Director
Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc. (PNGOC)
Tel Nos. 852-1898, 853-4345. Email:,