Following the President’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) which was unclear on the issue of Reproductive Health (RH), a network of individuals and organizations in the City of San Jose Del Monte, Bulacan joins the nationwide call for a law on RH and urges PNoy to clearly state he supports the passing of the long-pending RH bill in Congress.
Helen Diolanda, Community Network for Population and Health (ComNet) Spokesperson stressed that family Planning, an important element of reproductive health, should be an option that must be available to every Filipino couple. “When he said in his SONA that the shortages in classrooms remain, our student population continues to grow and that Responsible Parenthood (RP) can address this, he is playing safe. The President must not play safe and should be clear that what he meant was to pass the RH bill which has been pending a decade ago,” explained Diolanda.
“He should be clear enough so that even Retired Archbishop Oscar Cruz of the Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines must not interpret the message that it was an endorsement for the Natural Family Planning Method Only,” she added.
According to Diolanda their network promotes Family Planning and Reproductive Health as basic human rights and is also pushing for a local ordinance that will promote family planning and RH rights. “This is our contribution to the global campaign to realize the Millennium Development Goal 5, which is the promotion of maternal health,” Diolando further said.
ComNet, a joint program on family planning by the Local Government of San Jose, Del Monte Bulacan and the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP) is called the Model FP Project. Funded by the European Union, the three year project makes family planning information and services accessible to the poor, marginalized, socially excluded and underserved residents of the city. Part of the project is to train community leaders and barangay health workers and midwives to improve competency in delivering family planning services to the community.