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Duterte signs EO on RH implementation
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- President Rodrigo Duterte has signed an executive order for the full implementation of government’s reproductive health program.

At a press briefing in Malacanang Wednesday, National Economic and Development Authority director general Ernesto Pernia said the signing of Executive Order No. 12 is “Attaining and Sustaining Zero Unmet Need for Modern Family Planning Through the Strict Implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act, Providing Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes,” would allow women of reproductive age to achieve their desired family size and number of children rather than having more children than they want or they can afford and provide for adequately.

This, said Pernia, is the essence of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law Act, the implementation of which has been hindered by a temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court.

With the issuance of the EO, Pernia said the administration hopes the high court would lift the TRO.

Pernia said that while pro-life groups oppose the use of contraceptives, the government believes the RH Law is pro-life, pro-women, and pro-economic development.

“So the link between family planning or the implementation of the RPRH law is critical -- the link between family planning and economic development, socio-economic development is quite intimate,” he said.

The government hopes to reduce poverty from 21.6 percent as of 2015, to 14 or even 13 percent by the end of the Duterte administration in 2022, Pernia said.

Pernia also said that even with the TRO in effect, the EO gives local governments a workaround by allowing NGOs to implement the RPRH Law since the private sector is not covered by the ruling.