QC moms call on gov’t to provide RH care
MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court is set to decide on the controversial Reproductive Health law next month.
A study shows most women in the poorest barangay of Quezon City want to plan their families, but access to health facilities and contraceptives remains a problem.
Jee Geronimo reports.
At 19 years old, Miracle Pacheco is already a mother of 3. She eloped with her boyfriend when she was 14 and came back to Payatas, with their first child.
Miracle did not want a second child, nor a third. But she says it can’t be helped since she keeps forgetting to take her pills.
MIRACLE PACHECO, RESIDENT, PAYATAS, QUEZON CITY: Na-try ko rin mag-pills, pero IUD hindi pa. Kasi sabi nila nakakatakot daw kasi mag-IUD. Sabi nila, yung ibang nakaranas na. Tapos sabi naman nung iba, masakit, mahirap daw mag-IUD. Ang gusto ko sana sa injectable, kasi meron kasi akong nakikitang injectable, may tumataba, hiyangan lang. E hindi po ako hiyang. Lalo po akong pumayat, tinigil ko na lang po. (I tried pills but I haven’t tried using an IUD because some of the people who’ve experienced it say it’s scary. Some say using an IUD hurts. I wanted to use something injectable because I’ve seen contraceptives that are injectable. Some who use it gain weight. It depends on you. For me, I got even thinner so I stopped.)
She swears the baby in her womb, will be her last. They can’t afford a fourth one - her partner's only income is scavenging.
A study shows many women in Payatas want to plan their families but they still end up with unwanted pregnancies. While most of them are Catholics, yhey don’t think using contraceptives is a sin despite the Church’s stand.
Antonieta Inumerable of the city’s health department says their main source of contraceptives is the barangay health center.
ANTONIETA INUMERABLE, HEAD, QUEZON CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT: Actually, kahit wala yung RH bill, tatayo rin ang Quezon City dahil meron kaming sariling ordinansa na nauna pa nga ang Quezon City kesa dun sa RH bill. (Even without the RH bill, Quezon City will be self-sufficient because we have our own ordinances that came even before the RH bill.)
Inumerable says supply remains a problem, despite Quezon City’s ordinance on reproductive health. The current budget is not enough. The city needs P200 million for its reproductive health program but only P14 million is allotted this year.
It’s a sum the Reproductive Health Law can provide, and more if the Supreme Court decides to uphold its constitutionality.
MIRACLE PACHECO, RESIDENT, PAYATAS, QUEZON CITY: [IUD] ang gusto nyang [tita] gawin sakin para ‘di na masundan kaagad kasi mahirap po kasi ‘pag sunud-sunod e. ‘Di ka man lang maka-enjoy a malaki na mga anak mo, meron na naman, kaya parang gusto ko na yatang mag-IUD, kaya lang yung iba naririnig ko parang mahirap mag-IUD, nakakatakot daw pong mag-IUD. (My aunt wants me to use an IUD so that we don’t have children too soon after I give birth. It’s hard if they follow one after the other. You can’t enjoy your child growing up because there’ll be another one right after. I think I want to start using an IUD but I’ve heard it’s hard and scary to use.)
Miracle has decided, despite fears, she’ll use an IUD. She’s been told it’s safe and low maintenance.
The women of Payatas know their reproductive health needs, but they call on their government to provide it for them. Will the government listen to them when it decides on the RH law next month?
Jee Geronimo, Rappler, Manila – Rappler.com