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Overwhelming majority of Filipinos (92%) believe it is important to mitigate fertility and plan their family

Filipinos do not only recognize the importance of family planning, they also strongly approve of government’s allocation of funds for modern contraceptives. The latest Pulse Asia Survey concluded just before the 2007 elections showed an overwhelming majority of Filipinos (92%) believe it is important to mitigate fertility and plan their family. ...

A fourth committee of the House of Representatives has endorsed H.B. 5043

A fourth committee of the House of Representatives has endorsed House Bill 5043 or the proposed “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2008” principally authored by Albay Rep. Edcel C. Lagman. The Committee on Rules approved today the plenary consideration of the controversial bill which mandates government to provide information and services on all forms of family planning and allocate adequate funds for the reproductive health program. ...

Family Planning

“It is distressing that the miracle of life means death to 10 mothers daily in the Philippines,” Rep. Edcel C. Lagman of Albay stressed during the 2nd National Multi-Sectoral Conference on Population and Development last August 15, 2007. The Bicol solon is the principal author of House Bill No. 17 or the “Reproductive Health, Responsible Parenthood and Population Development Act of 2007”. ...

Presidential Approval of 2008 GAA Affirms Executive-Legislative Common Agenda

The Presidential approval of the P1.227 trillion 2008 General Appropriations Act with minimal direct item vetoes is a reaffirmation of the Executive-Legislative common agenda of providing adequate basic social services and enhancing infrastructure development. It also signifies the Executive’s guarded concurrence with the congressional thrusts on non-confrontational debt service reduction policy and accelerated impartial stress on reproductive health and population management. ...
The entire world is keenly watching the progress of the RH bill Print
Press Statements
Monday, 26 November 2012 12:33


  • Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
  • Independent – Albay
  • 24 November 2012
  • 0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137



          The entire world is keenly watching the progress of the RH bill in the Philippines as women worldwide are eagerly anticipating to celebrate its enactment.


            This declaration by Dr. Gita Sen, renowned feminist and advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), was recounted by Rep. Edcel C. Lagman, principal author of the RH bill, at the international conference on the post-2015 action plan on the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) held early last week in Quezon City.


            Dr. Sen made the remarks at the international forum on SRHR sponsored jointly by the Development Alternatives with Women for a New Era (DAWN) and the Forum on Family Planning and Development (FFPD) recently in Makati City.


           Sen is a pioneer in the field of gender and development. Her academic and policy activism in this field has been an inspiration to a whole generation of researchers, policymakers of South and North, and non-governmental activists.


          Her recent work includes research and policy advocacy on the gender implications of globalization and economic liberalization, the gender dimensions of population policies, and the links between population and the environment.


            Of the eight MDGs, data from participating countries show that the reduction of the maternal mortality rate (MMR) due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth is the least achievable by 2015.


           The MMR in the Philippines has even worsened to 14-15 maternal deaths daily (221 deaths per 100,000 live births) from 10-11 daily (172 deaths per 1000,000 live births) in 2006. The MDG target by 2015 is 52/100,000.


             Annually, 500,000 mothers die worldwide due to causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.


            Although pregnancy is not a disease, it nevertheless kills because women are not empowered to freely and responsibly determine the number and spacing of their children resulting in high-risk pregnancies, compounded by lack of skilled birth attendants, maternal health facilities and prenatal and postnatal care, all of which are addressed by the RH bill.


           The enactment of the RH law will enable the country to attain or approximate the attainment of all the MDGs because the unifying common denominator of the MDGs is the advancement of reproductive health.

Appeal to all Authors and Advocates of the RH Bill Print
Press Statements
Monday, 26 November 2012 12:29


  • Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
  • Independent – Albay
  • 23 November 2012
  • 0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137



               My “Appeal to All Authors and Advocates of the RH Bill” was sent to over a hundred co-authors and another group of several dozens of confirmed advocates and supporters who are committed to vote for the measure. Together, they constitute a clear majority of the total membership of the House of Representatives of 283 Representatives.





              May I earnestly reiterate my appeal for all of us, RH bill authors and advocates, to be present during the last 12 session days before the Christmas break and maintain a quorum up to adjournment.


              In our 13-year crusade for the enactment of a Reproductive Health law, it is only now in the 15th Congress that we have reached the threshold of passing the RH bill.


              Let us collectively seize the moment and deliver without further delay the bill which is pregnant with fulfillment for maternal and infant health, reproductive self-determination as a human right, and sustainable human development.


              The Philippines needs an RH law as an anchor for the government’s pro-poor, pro-women, pro-health and pro-development agenda.


              The House of Representatives needs your presence and support to institutionalize this enabling anchor.


               I am happy to note that despite the absence of a quorum during the previous session days, majority of those who responded to the roll call are RH authors and advocates.


               Let us offer our constituents a small measure of sacrifice by responding to this urgent quorum call.


              Let us transform our enduring patience to renewed activism for the enactment now of an RH law.


               Thank you so much.



New and old acceptable amendments do not dilute or destroy the essence of the original rh bill Print
Press Statements
Thursday, 18 October 2012 11:17
Rep. Edcel C. Lagman
Independent – Albay
17 October 2012
0916-6406737 / 0918-9120137


           In addition to the acceptable amendments which were previously announced by the co-authors of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Bill (House Bill No. 4244) to address the objections, reservations and concerns of oppositors, the following new amendments are likewise acceptable as a result of the latest round of consultations:


           1. The State guarantees public access to and relevant information and education on medically safe, legal, ethical, affordable, effective and   quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices and supplies which do not prevent implantation of a fertilized ovum as determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


           2. The State shall likewise prioritize the needs of poor women and men in marginalized households as identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) and other government measures of identifying marginalization, who shall be voluntary beneficiaries of reproductive health care, services and supplies for free.


           3. The State shall also provide funding support to promote modern-natural methods of family planning consistent with the needs of acceptors.


           4. The State shall promote openness to life, provided that parents bring forth to the world only those children that they can raise in a truly humane way.


           5. There shall be no demographic and population targets and the mitigation, promotion and/or stabilization of the population growth rate are incidental to the advancement of reproductive health and sustainable human development.


           6. Family planning information and services shall include as a first priority making women of reproductive age fully aware of their respective fertility cycles.


           7. The teaching of reproductive health and sexuality education shall be promoted and conducted with due deference to cultural, religious and ethical norms of various communities.


           8. Flexibility in the teaching of reproductive health and sexuality education shall be accorded to sectarian schools within the provisions and parameters of the Section on age-appropriate mandatory reproductive health and sexuality education.


           9. The FDA shall update the Philippine National Drug Formulary (PNDF) with respect to modern family planning products and supplies in accordance with standard medical practice.


         The foregoing amendments are contained in the proposed substitute bill which was announced by Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales, Jr. in the plenary and distributed to all Members of the House.


         It will be recalled that the following amendments were previously announced as acceptable:


         1. Deletion of the provision on “Ideal Family Size” to assure critics that the bill does not impose a “two-child policy” like China’s “one-child  policy”. The original version merely contemplates an ideal norm which is neither mandatory, compulsory nor punitive.


         2. Deletion of the section on “Employer’s Responsibilities” to address concerns that a similar provision in Article 134 of the Labor Code is already adequate.


         3. Deletion of the section on “Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines” to accommodate objections that such a prior classification cannot be made by law. In lieu of the protested provision, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is charged with the determination of the safety, efficacy and classification of modern family planning products and supplies pursuant to existing law.


         4. Deletion of the prohibited act on malicious disinformation in order to fully guarantee the freedom of speech and the freedom of religion.


         5. Assurance of funding support to promote modern natural methods of family planning like the Billings, Sympto-Thermal and Standard Days methods.


      6. Hospitals owned and operated by a religious group are given the option not to provide “a full range of modern family planning methods” in order to further guarantee religious freedom.


         7. Imposition of penalties to pharmaceutical companies, whether domestic or multi-national, which collude with government officials and employees in the purchase, procurement and distribution of modern family planning supplies, products and devices, and/or contribute to partisan political activities, in order to disabuse the minds of critics that there is a pharmaceutical lobby for the enactment of the RH bill.


         8. Deletion of the provision making the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) as the mandatory source for the acquisition and operation of the Mobile Health Care Service vehicles to respect the differing views of Congresspersons.


         9. Emphasis that the bill is not a population control measure.


       10. Parents are given the option not to allow their minor children to attend reproductive health and sexuality education classes to accord respect to religious convictions and beliefs.


        The foregoing new and old acceptable amendments do not dilute or destroy the essence of the original bill even as they accommodate the suggestions and concerns of well-meaning oppositors.

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