Social welfare chief to emphasize reproductive health, family planning in social protection programs

MANILA-- Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo on Wednesday pledged to incorporate the strategies in the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law into the department's national poverty reduction and social protection programs.

Taguiwalo said the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) will support President Rodrigo Duterte's executive order on attaining and sustaining "zero unmet need for family planning" to enable poor couples to make informed choices on financial and family planning.

Noting the serious need to prioritize advocacy and information campaigns on women's reproductive and maternal health, the social welfare chief said, "We want couples and families to engage in family planning because it will help ensure the health of mothers, unborn babies, and young children."

She explained that family planning, its different methods, and the reasons for spacing births and limiting the number of children should be explained to women in urban and rural poor communities, not because of the "scornful and unjust belief" that the poor are irresponsible when it comes to having and raising children but because "we want a stronger, healthier population whose members can work for themselves, ensure their own well-being, defend and articulate their own rights under the law" so they can contribute to the development of the Philippine society.

Taguiwalo said reproductive health and maternal and children's health programs are already being taught during the family development sessions of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps), while reproductive health concerns are discussed by social workers with the urban poor.

She vowed that her department will endeavor to find "better, more socially responsive, and effective ways" to inform the public of the RPRH law and its importance to help build stronger and healthier families. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency