MANILA, Philippines – Oops!
The controversial Reproductive Health Law vigorously opposed by the Catholic Church will be implemented beginning Easter Sunday, March 31.
The Department of Health (DOH) approved the RH law’s implementing rules and regulations (IRR) on Friday, March 15. These will be published this weekend.
“That was unintended. We really did not see that. We were having a hearing when someone pointed it out and we were like, ‘Oops!’” DOH Assistant Secretary Madeleine Valera told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The RH law funds the distribution of free contraceptives, requiring government hospitals to provide reproductive health (RH) services, and mandating public schools to teach sex education.
Inspite of the strong push by President Benigno Aquino III, it had a difficult time in Congress. The original version of the bill was watered down. The delivery of RH services remains the primary responsbility of the national government — not local government units — and is optional for most private hospitals.
Except in special cases, minors need parental consent to access family planning methods. Sex education is also optional for private schools. (READ: RH law: The long and rough road)
There are pending petitions before the Supreme Court seeking to declare the law unconstitutional.
The Diocese of Bacolod City also launched the “Team Patay” and “Team Buhay” campaigns, which call on Filipinos to vote for candidates who junked the RH law and vote against candidates who supported it. – Carmela Fonbuena/Rappler.com