By Charissa Luci-Atienza
DIWA partylist Rep. Pepito Pico has sought the establishment of an infant mortality program to reduce the rate of infant mortality in the country.
He filed House Bill 8603, calling on the government to protect and protect the rights of children to survival and develop them as healthy and fully as individuals.
“While infant mortality rates in the country have drastically improved since the Millennium Development Goals were introduced almost three decades ago, statistics show that we still suffer more than 20 infant deaths per thousand births,” Pico said.
He noted that there were a wide variety of factors that can affect infant mortality, and the measures to be adapted in each community must be responsive to their particular needs.
“This bill– a refiling of House Bill 764 of former DIWA partylist Rep. Emmeline Villar–seeks to establish a local community-focused infant mortality initative that can properly assess and find redress for specific factors that affect infant mortality,'” he said.
Under HB 8603, the Infant Mortality Initiative shall be administered through a collaboration among the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), local government units and their respective local health coalitions, and public universities and colleages having expertise in public health.
The proposed Infant Mortality Initiative Act proposes a P20-million allocation for the implementation of the proposed Act.
DOH will be tasked to act as the lead agency in implementing the proposed Act, HB 8603 provides.