THE Duterte administration is looking forward to working with local and international groups on projects related to the Reproductive Health (RH) Law.
Presidential communications office secretary Martin Andanar made the statement after the United Nations lauded President Rodrigo Duterte’s signing of the Executive Order No. 12 mandating universal access to modern family planning tools on January 9.
The Department of Health, the Commission on Population, and the Department of the Interior and Local Government are tasked to pursue this mandate.
“We hope that with this order, we will have stronger collaboration with non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the private sector, and international bodies like The United Nations Population Fund, to implement quality modern family planning information and services,” Andanar said.
Andanar made the statement even though Duterte has been vocal in his criticisms of certain UN officials who have expressed concern over the war against drugs in the Philippines.
Last December, Duterte even launched a profanity-laced tirade against United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein for tagging him as a murderer.
Andanar also said, “The signing of the Executive Order on Reproductive Health reflects the President’s stance on the issue and shows his strong position on the importance of the implementation of Reproductive Health.”
EO No. 12 aims to “intensify and accelerate the implementation of critical actions necessary to attain and sustain ‘zero unmet need for modern family planning’ for all poor households by 2018, and all of Filipinos.”
Andanar further explained that a focus on reproductive health is “part of President Duterte’s 10-Point Socioeconomic Agenda.”
For his part, Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia explained that the government cannot promise “sustained economic growth and poverty reduction” if the RH Law is “neglected or put in the ice box.”
Research done by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) revealed that the Philippines loses P33 billion annually for failing to address teenage pregnancy.