This year, the Philippines marks the passage of Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012.The ruling of the Supreme Court of the Philippines in its declaration of the law as not unconstitutional is a significant progress in reaching everyone equally especially on matters on maternal health where the poor and marginalized women and girls have been left without universal access to reproductive health. The country’s maternal mortality ratio (MMR), for example, has remained high since 1993 and it is dificult that the MMR target of 52 deaths per 100,000 live births will be reached by the 2015 Millennium Development Goals deadline.
Other challenges such as child mortality, teenage pregnancy, and STI/HIV also persist. POPCOM 7 is working nonstop to address these issues. The regional office’s initiatives are aligned with the eproductive Health Law’s directives in program implementation. The office maximizes various linkages with partner agencies, LGUs, and stakeholders in the development of more informed policy decisions, reforms and in
designing new strategies in the implementation of more focused programs and projects in line with the objectives of the Millenium Development Goal. Interdisciplinary collaborations, such as the establishment of an inter-agency committee to coordinate RPRH implementation, and various LGU support also advance our efforts to put more premium on programs and projects for inclusive growth so as to empower Filipino families and enhance their well-being.
POPCOM 7 will continue to serve as a platform to link demand to services, promote knowledge transfer and reach out to the society through various information campaigns such pre-marriage counseling, family development sessions, parental involvement in adolescent health and development, life skills training for the youth, and in ensuring universal access to reproductive health care.