POPCOM remembers PNoy, the staunch RH advocate

Published June 25, 2021, 5:15 PM

by Alexandria Dennise San Juan

The Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) joined the nation Friday, June 25 in mourning the passing of former President Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III even as it cited the significant role he played in championing reproductive health (RH) in the country.

(Mark Balmores / File photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

Undersecretary for Population and Development Juan Antonio Perez III lauded Aquino’s courage in passing the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law in December 2012, less than two years into the latter’s term as president.

Perez said the former chief executive was instrumental in making universal health services and rights “a reality for our countrymen.”

According to the POPCOM chief, Aquino was vocal about his support on issues surrounding RH even before his stint in Malacañang.

“Former President Aquino III made it clear during his tenure that RH was a priority of his administration, despite opposition from some sectors,” Perez said.

“He was a Philippine leader who defended the cause of Filipino families. ‘PNoy’ made good on his promise in his inaugural speech that every Pinoy was his ‘boss’. In my book, it was a promise he kept well,” he added.

Perez said the legislation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law effectively rendered sexual and RH healthcare services and rights universally accessible to Filipinos.

“Aquino III’s legacy on RH as well as population and development is undeniable. 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,” he said.

Aquino, who led the country under the “Daang Matuwid” reform agenda from 2010 to 2016, passed away on Thursday, June 24 from renal disease secondary to diabetes. He was 61.