.B. 4244, which proposes a law which shall be known as the The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011, provides for a comprehensive policy on responsible parenthood, reproductive health, and population and development, and for other purposes. Responsible Parenthood refers to the will, ability and commitment of parents to adequately respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children by responsibly and freely exercising their reproductive health rights. Reproductive Health is the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Population and Development refers to a program that aims to: (1) help couples and parents achieve their desired family size; (2) improve reproductive health of individuals by addressing reproductive health problems; (3) contribute to decreased maternal and infant mortality rates and early child mortality; (4) reduce incidence of teenage pregnancy; and (5) recognize the linkage between population and sustainable human development. The Department of Health and the Local Health Units in cities and municipalities shall serve as the lead agencies, with the Population Commission (POPCOM), as an attached agency of DOH, shall serving as the coordinating body. Reproductive Health Rights refer to the rights of couples, individuals and women to decide freely and responsibly whether or not to have children; to determine the number, spacing and timing of their children; to make decisions concerning reproduction free of discrimination, coercion and violence; to have relevant information; and to attain the highest condition of sexual and reproductive health.
The explanatory note of one of the House Bills substituted by H.B. 4244, House Bill No. 96 (15th Congress), explains that the bill is primarily a health measure, seeking to improve maternal, newborn and child health and nutrition and reduce maternal, infant and child mortality. The death of 500,000 women worldwide annually due to complications related to pregnancy and childbirth is both an aberration and a gross social injustice. In the Philippines 11 mothers die daily. Midwives for skilled attendance
The Local Government Units (LGUs) with the assistance of the Department of Health (DOH), shall employ an adequate number of midwives to achieve a...