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Implement RH EO immediately - Lagman

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman
The online news portal of TV5

MANILA, Philippines -- Albay Representative Edcel Lagman called on government to immediately implement Executive Order No. 12, signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on January 9, to ensure the availability of modern contraceptives.

Lagman, one of the principal authors of the Reproductive Health Law, noted that four years after its enactment in December 2012 and almost three years after it was on the whole declared constitutional by the Supreme Court in April 2014, the present data on the unmet need for contraceptives is "still unacceptably high, particularly in the marginalized sectors.”

The EO seeks to achieve “zero unmet need for modern family planning” by 2018 for poor families. 

 This, said Lagman, “is in direct contrast with the Supreme Court’s earlier temporary restraining order and subsequent decision dated 24 August 2016, which is under reconsideration, halting the certification and re-certification of contraceptive products and devices by the Food and Drug Administration pending FDA’s undertaking a tedious quasi-judicial process instead of the traditional summary administrative process on certification and re-certification."

"If the Supreme Court does not reverse soonest its decision and takes a longer time in resolving the motion for reconsideration filed by the Office of the Solicitor General, the supply of modern contraceptives will dry up by 2018," he warned.

Lagman said that funding for the EO’s implementation has been assured with the Department of Budget and Management authorized to “realign and augment appropriations” to support the full implementation of the RH Law this year, with the funding requirements in subsequent years to be included in the annual General Appropriations Acts.

The Department of Education is also directed to “implement a gender-sensitive and rights-based comprehensive sexuality education” in the curriculums of both private and public schools.