Rh Bill

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Background

The first time the Reproductive Health Bill was proposed was in 1998. During the present 15th Congress, the RH Bills filed are those authored by House Minority Leader Edcel Lagman of Albay, HB 96; Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, HB 101, Akbayan Representatives Kaka Bag-ao & Walden Bello; HB 513, Muntinlupa Representative Rodolfo Biazon, HB 1160, Iloilo Representative Augusto Syjuco, HB 1520, Gabriela Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan. In the Senate, Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago has filed her own version of the RH bill which, she says, will be part of the country’s commitment to international covenants. On January 31, 2011, the House of Representatives Committee on Population and Family Relations voted to consolidate all House versions of the bill, which is entitled An Act Providing for a Comprehensive Policy on Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population Development and for Other Purposes. [edit] Stated purpose

One of the main concerns of the bill, according to the Explanatory Note, is that population of the Philippines makes it “the 12th most populous nation in the world today”, that the Filipino women’s fertility rate is “at the upper bracket of 206 countries.” It states that studies and surveys “show that the Filipinos are responsive to having smaller-sized families through free choice of family planning methods.” It also refers to studies which “show that rapid population growth exacerbates poverty while poverty spawns rapid population growth.” And so it aims for improved quality of life through a “consistent and coherent national population policy.” [edit] History

According to the Senate Policy Brief titled Promoting Reproductive Health, the history of reproductive health in the Philippines dates back to 1967 when leaders of 12 countries including the Philippines' Ferdinand Marcos signed the Declaration on Population.[2][3] The Philippines agreed that the population problem be considered as the principal element for long-term economic development. Thus, the Population Commission (Popcom) was created to push for a lower family size norm and provide information and services to lower fertility rates.[1]

Starting 1967, the USAID started shouldering 80% of the total family planning commodities (contraceptives) of the country, which amounted to US$ 3 Million annually.[1] US National Security Memorandum: paramount importance of world population control through programs of UN and USAID.

In 1975, the United States adopted as its policy the National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (NSSM200). The policy gives "paramount importance" to population control measures and the promotion of contraception among 13 populous countries, including the Philippines to control rapid population growth which they deem to be inimical to the socio-political and economic growth of these countries and to the national interests of the United States, since the "U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad", and these countries can produce destabilizing opposition forces against the United States.[4] It recommends the US leadership to "influence national leaders" and that "improved world-wide support for population-related efforts should be sought through increased emphasis on mass media and other population education and motivation programs by the U.N., USIA, and USAID."[4]

Different presidents had different points of emphasis. President Marcos pushed for a systematic distribution of contraceptives all over the country, a policy that was called "coercive," by its leading administrator.The Cory Aquino administration focused on giving couples the right to have the number of children they prefer, while the Ramos presidency shifted from population control to population management. Estrada used mixed methods of reducing fertility rates, while Arroyo focused on mainstreaming natural family planning, while stating...
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