RA 10354 “Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012”
It is an act providing for a national policy on responsible parenthood and reproductive health. The law, which stemmed from the strong advocacy of stakeholders and the commitment of the Government, is a point for convergence of multi-sectoral efforts toward the improvement of health outcomes of the country. It mandates the government to adequately address the needs of Filipinos on responsible parenthood and reproductive health.
The law aims to empower the Filipino people, especially women and youth, through informed choice and age- and development- appropriate education. Further, the law guarantees access to information, facilities and services most especially for the poor by ensuring stable and sustainable reproductive health programs are in place through partnerships between national and local governments in collaboration with CSOs, basic sectors, academe and private sector.
What is responsible parenthood (RP)?
Responsible parenthood is the will and ability of parent(s) to respond to the needs and aspirations of the family and children. It is the shared responsibility between parents to determine and achieve the desired number and timing of their children according to their own aspirations. (RA 10354 Section 4v)
What is Reproductive Health (RH)?
Reproductive health can be defined as a state of complete well-being in matters relating to one’s sexual and reproductive life. It implies that people are able to have a responsible, safe, consensual and satisfying sex life and that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide of, when, and how often to do so. Further, it implies that men and women attain equal relationships in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction. (RA 10354 Section 4s)
What are the guiding principles that govern the RP-RH Law?
The RP-RH law is rooted on the human rights of all persons including their right to equality and nondiscrimination, the right to sustainable human development, the right to health including RH, the right to education and information, and the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance to their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs and the demand of responsible parenthood.
In particular, the law upholds and guarantee the following principles:
- The right to make free and informed decisions of every person particularly couples, adult individuals, women and adolescents including preference and choice for FP methods, determination of ideal family size;
- The provision of effective and quality RH care services by the state that will lead to universal access to affordable and quality RH care and services;
- The provision of truthful information and education on RH; and
- The preferential access to the poor and the marginalized.
(RA 10354 Section 3)
What are the benefits of the law?
With the passage of the RP-RH Act, the country has now a comprehensive law that guarantees the provision of the RH care services and information to all individuals particularly the poor and the marginalized.
The following measures are all aimed towards improving access to RH Services of the people:
- Enhanced Service Delivery Networks (SDN) through facility mapping and population matching with facilities;
- Provision of mobile health clinics in GIDAs;
- Improved PhilHealth coverage of RH services;
- Ensured supply of RH commodities particularly in the procurement and distribution of FP supplies;
- Hiring and training of skilled health professionals;
- National and local government cooperation in implementation;
- Participation of the Private Sector, Academe, Basic Sector and CSOs; and
- Continuous monitoring and review of programs.
Moreover, simultaneous effort will also be applied by the government to enhance the access to RH information by:
- Strengthening of informed choice and voluntarism leading to an understanding of the full range of services;
- Availability of RP and RH information through health promotion and communication campaigns and consultations; and
- Development of age- and development- appropriate education.