Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo today said that she is in full agreement with Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s order that the Reproductive Health Law be implemented full-scale.
She said that the agencies directly responsible for its implementation should focus on ensuring that Filipino women and children get improved and greater access to correct information on reproductive health, free reproductive healthcare, and other health services.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that to support the RH Law’s full implementation, it should also be recognized that poor Filipino women need a national policy on genuine, pro-poor, and comprehensive health care so that women will have the basis from which to assert their right to proper health care.
The Secretary said that reproductive health concerns will also be addressed in all the programs currently being implemented by the DSWD.
“I will order that all DSWD Field Offices in the country as well as units of the DSWD that promote its different programs continue to make reproductive health concerns a part of the said programs, including the 4Ps. Maternal and infant health care will be taught in the areas where the DSWD has its programs, and we will work together with the DOH and various local government units to promote the same,” she said.
“We will maximize the 4Ps Family Development Sessions and the Parent Effectiveness Sessions as venues to discuss the benefits of the RH Law,” Sec. Taguiwalo added.
“We want Filipino women and children to be healthier and to live longer, more productive lives. The RH law’s orientation should be geared towards improving their health conditions, not controlling the population. Filipinos stand to benefit infinitely more from information and programs that promote self-care, good nutrition, and over-all health, rather than to limit information on contraceptives,” she said.
Sec. Taguiwalo said that the implementation of its programs, the DSWD will also ensure that couples, families and young people will be given information and access to reproductive heath services so that they can make informed choices. She said that she is particularly concerned with the rise in number of teenage pregnancies and teenage motherhood.