Quezon City Rep. Alfred Vargas has filed House Bill No. 7587 establishing birthing facilities in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.
The vice chairperson of the House Committee on Appropriations said with the increasing cases of maternal deaths, an institutionalized program and support for maternal and childbirth services is necessary.
“But, while infant deaths have decreased, recent data reported by the PSA (Philippine Statistics Authority) showed that maternal deaths increased from 1,484 in 2017 to 1, 618 in 2018 indicating a two year high when maternal deaths reached 1, 721 in 2015,” he said.
“Based on the Sustainable Development Goals, countries must bring down the number of maternal deaths to 70 per 100,000 live births,” he noted.
Vargas said HB No. 7587 or the proposed Safer Maternal and Childbirth Services Act seeks to improve maternal and newborn care by establishing birthing facilities as well as training traditional birth attendants or
“hilots” to become part of the formal health system.
“It seeks the improvement of local health facilities toward services that can provide comprehensive care in order to encourage underserved or underprivileged women access to safe maternal and newborn care delivery system,” he said.
HB 7587 also provides the establishment of birthing facilities that shall address obstetric care and delivery in GIDAs where distance and transportation make traveling to a heath facility unsafe and pose greater risks to a mother and her unborn child.
These facilities are required to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, or on an on call or as needed basis, depending on the pregnancy tracking.
Clinical services in these facilities should include pre-natal and post-natal care, normal spontaneous delivery for low-risk pregnant women, newborn care, and other related healthcare services.