As the entire Philippine nation mourns the sudden passing of former Philippine President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, the Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) acknowledges his significant role in championing reproductive health (RH) care in the country.
Particularly, POPCOM lauds the former chief executive’s courage in enacting the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law, or RPRH Law, in 2012. This historic legislation effectively rendered RH health-care services and rights universally accessible to Filipinos.
Undersecretary for Population and Development Juan Antonio Perez III, MD, MPH said that Aquino III was instrumental in making the said universal health services and rights “a reality for our countrymen.” The former president was vocal about his support on issues surrounding RH, even before the latter’s assumption to office. He was a key figure in the passage of the said legislation.
“Former president Aquino III made it clear during his tenure that RH was a priority of his administration, despite strong opposition from some sectors. After more than a decade of being stalled in the legislative process because of its controversial provisions, the former P’Noy finally showed its political will to ensure reproductive rights particularly among poor women through the RPRH law.” Perez noted. “He was a Philippine leader who defended the cause of Filipino families. ‘P-Noy’ made good on his promise in his inaugural speech that every Pinoy was his ‘boss.’ It was a promise he kept well.”
He concluded, “Aquino III’s legacy on RH as well as population and development has been well entrenched in people’s lives. For that, like-minded partners and stakeholders of these programs, as well as Filipino families, will forever be grateful to him. May his soul rest in peace, under the perpetual light of God Almighty.”
Aquino III served as the Philippines’ 15th president. He passed away in the morning of June 24, 2021. He was 61.