MANILA, Philippines - The hotly-debated Reproductive Health (RH) bill, opposed by the powerful Catholic church, is up for a crucial vote at the House of Representatives on August 7.
Here are the key points to know about House Bill No. 4244, "An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health, and Population and Development, and for Other Purposes," commonly known as the Reproductive Health Bill.
HB 4244 is a product of the consolidation of 6 house bills:
- HB 96, "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development, and for Other Purposes," introduced by Rep Edcel Lagman
- HB 101, "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population Development, and for Other Purposes," introduced by Rep Janette Garin
- HB 513, "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population Development, and for Other Purposes,: introduced by Reps. Kaka Bag-Ao and Rep Walden Bello
- HB1160, "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health and for Other Purposes," introduced by Rep. Rodolfo Biazon
- HB 1520, "An Act to Protect the Right of People to Information on Reproductive Health Care," introduced by Rep Augusto Syjuco
- HB 3387, "An Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health for Women in Development and for Other Purposes," introduced by Reps. Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus
The said bills were substituted by the lone HB 4244 after discussions in the Committee on Population and Family Relations. The substitution is indicated by Committee Report 684, submitted to the office of the House Speaker 21 February 2011.
Rep Lagman is the principal author of HB 4244, with 103 representatives listed as co-authors.
This fact sheet is included in the full text of HB 4244, which in turn is also embedded below.
Fact Sheet: House Bill 4244
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A COMPREHENSIVE POLICY ON RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD, REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, AND POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
- To integrate a responsible parenthood & family planning component into all anti-poverty and other sustainable human development programs of the government and promote people's right to health, especially the poor and marginalized
- To uphold the basic right of couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number of children they may have and the reproductive spacing they will adopt, and to provide the information, education, and access to medically safe, legal, affordable, effective, and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon
- To endure effective partnership among the national government, local government units (LGUs) and private sector in the design, implementation, coordination, integration, monitoring, and evaluation of people-centered programs to enhance quality of life and environmental protection
- Mandates the Department of Health (DOH) to spearhead the efficient procurement, distribution to LGUS and the usage monitoring of medically safe, legal, accessible, affordable and effective reproductive health care services and supplies nationwide
- Provides for the creation of an enabling environment for the poor and vulnerable in which all can enjoy long, healthy, and productive lives that will promote their rights and protects the life opportunities of future generations
- Provides for a maternal death review in the LGUs, the national and local government hospitals and other public health units to decrease the incidence of maternal deaths
- Provides Mandatory Age-appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education starting from Grade Five to Fourth Year High School to develop the youth into responsible adults
- Provides for a Mobile Health Care Service in every Congressional district to deliver health care supplies and services to be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health particularly to the poor and needy
- Considers products and supplies for modern family planning methods under the category of essential medicines and supplies to form part of the National Drug Formulary and to be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units
- Mandates the inclusion of the topics on family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition as essential part of the free instruction and information to be given by the Local Population Officer of every city or municipality to all applicants for marriage license
- Mandates no less than 10% increase in honoraria for Barangay Health Workers, upon successful completion of training
- Penalizes the violator of this Act by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the Court
- Tasks the DOH, the Department of Education (DepEd), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), and the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), in consultation with government, women's, people's, and civil society organizations to jointly promulgate the rules and regulations of this Act
- Appropriates current annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Family Health and Responsible Parenting under the DOH and POPCOM in the initial implementation of this Act and thereafter, such additional sums necessary shall be included in the subsequent GAA
- Sections 12 and 15, Article II of the Constitution of the Republic of the Philippines
FULL TEXT of HB 4244
House Bill 4244, the Reproductive Health bill