Sen. Pia Cayetano bats for full implementation of RPRH Law on World Population Day

Published July 11, 2019, 6:13 PM

by Martin Sadongdong & Antonio Colina

By Hannah Torregoza

Returning Senator Pia Cayetano on Thursday renewed her call for the full and intensified implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law (RPRH Law) saying it is necessary to empower all Filipinos and help bring down poverty levels in the country.

Sen. Pia Cayetano

Cayetano made the call as the nation joins other countries in observing World Population Day, a global observation that aims to raise awareness on population issues and finding solutions related to population growth.

The senator noted that previous delays in enforcing the landmark measure have hampered government efforts to maximize gains from economic development and effectively redistributing available resources to benefit the population.

However, President Rodrigo Duterte was able to place the National Program on Population and Family Planning (NPPFP) as a major component of its poverty reduction strategy.

“From his very first State of the Nation Address, President Duterte has indicated strong political will to fully carry out the RPRH Law as part of his administration’s socio-economic reforms to address poverty,” said Cayetano, principal sponsor of the RPRH Law.

“The full and intensified implementation of the RPRH Law, in partnership with sound economic policies and effective management of our human resources would be the key drivers in attaining sustainable and inclusive growth in the second half of President Duterte’s term,” Cayetano added.

First introduced through the RPRH Law, she said the NPPFP seeks to avert unwanted and unplanned pregnancies by giving Filipinos universal access to reproductive health and family planning information, devices, and services.

The said program also aims to empower couples and women to attain their ideal number of children through responsible parenthood.

The lawmaker further noted that the President backed up his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) by directing all government agencies to implement the RPRH Law to attain zero unmet need for family planning, and by providing sufficient budget to attain NPPFP’s goals.

Citing projections of the Commission on Population, Cayetano said the Philippine population is expected to hit 109 million by the end of 2019.The country currently has the highest fertility rate in Southeast Asia at 2.7 per woman, and has one of the region’s fastest-growing populations, with an annual average growth rate of 1.6 percent.

Meanwhile, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) is targeting to increase modern contraceptive rate to 65 percent and lower fertility rate to 2.1 average children per woman by 2022.