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Surigao Norte health advocates push for RH bill passage

Reproductive Health (RH) advocates here composed of civil society groups, non-government institutions, medical professional associations, and grassroots women’s organizations recently issued a unity statement collectively supporting the passage of RH Bill currently pending in the lower house.

Gleaning from their rich experiences in working for and with the people, “we hereby declare our shared understanding of the importance of Reproductive Health in achieving Sustainable Development and accordingly, institutionally, and individually support the passage and adoption of the proposed Reproductive Health Bill,” the multi-sectoral group said.

The said statement also enjoined everyone to observe basic human rights and improve the reproductive health conditions of the people as enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, 1987 Philippine Constitution, Local Government Code of 1991, 2008 Dept. of Health’s Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health and Nutrition Strategy, and 2004 Provincial Ordinance on Gender and Development.

“These legal instruments are consistent with our institutional mandates and internal policies in the public and private sectors that provide legal and operational basis for our development engagement and services promoting Reproductive Health of our people,” the group further said.

The statement also demanded all government and community leaders to ensure that all reproductive health information and services, including modern family planning methods, are to be made accessible and available to the general public in all public health facilities at all time.

The joint statement was signed by the presidents and members of the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines - Surigao del Norte; Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecologist Society – Northern Mindanao; Phil. Medical Association – Surigao del Norte; City Health Office, Association of Municipal Health Officers of the Phils.; Phil. League of Government & Private Midwives, Inc.; Phil. Asso. of Medical Technologists, Inc.; Phil. Nurses Association; Phil. Missionary Fellowship; Surigao Norte People’s Initiative for Development Association; Surigao Economic Development Foundation, Inc.; Surigao Norte NGO Coalition for Development; Surigao Unified Gay Association; Community Resource for Educ. and Advocacy for Transformation and Empowerment; Holistic Community Development and Initiatives, Inc.; Rural Enterprise Assistance Center Foundation, Inc.; Women’s Health Volunteer of Caub; Madasigong Kababajen-an sa Marayag; Hacienda Organization of Women; Cagtina-e Women’s Health Asso.; and Angat Kabuhayan para sa Kalusugan Association. (FEAbkilan, PIA-Surigao Norte/Photo credit: Sidney Snoeck)


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