HOUSE BILL NO. 5043
AN ACT PROVIDING FOR A NATIONAL POLICY ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH, RESPONSIBLE PARENTHOOD AND POPULATION DEVELOPMENT, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES
Be it enacted by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:
SECTION 1. Short Title. -- This Act shall be known as the "Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2008".
SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy. -- The State upholds and promotes responsible parenthood, informed choice, birth spacing and respect for life in conformity with internationally recognized human rights standards.
The State shall uphold the right of the people, particularly women and their organizations, to effective and reasonable participation in the formulation and implementation of the declared policy.
This policy is anchored on the rationale that sustainable human development is better assured with a manageable population of healthy, educated and productive citizens.
The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children,among other underprivileged sectors.
SEC. 3. Guiding Principles. -- This Act declares the following as basic guiding principles:
a. In the promotion of reproductive health, there should be no bias for either modern or natural methods of family planning;
b. Reproductive health goes beyond a demographic target because it is principally about health and rights;
c. Gender equality and women empowerment are central elements of reproductive health and population development;
d. Since manpower is the principal asset of every country, effective reproductive health care services must be given primacy to ensure the birth and care of healthy children and to promote responsible parenting;
e. The limited resources of the country cannot be suffered to, be spread so thinly to service a burgeoning multitude that makes the allocations grossly inadequate and effectively meaningless;
f. Freedom of informed choice, which is central to the exercise of any right, must be fully guaranteed by the State like the right itself;
g. While the number and spacing of children are left to the sound judgment of parents and couples based on their personal conviction and religious beliefs, such concerned parents and couples, including unmarried individuals, should be afforded free and full access to relevant, adequate and correct information on reproductive health and human sexuality and should be guided by qualified State workers and professional private practitioners;
h. Reproductive health, including the promotion of breastfeeding, must be the joint concern of the National Government and Local Government Units(LGUs);
i. Protection and promotion of gender equality, women empowerment and human rights, including reproductive health rights, are imperative;
j. Development is a multi-faceted process that calls for the coordination and integration of policies, plans, programs and projects that seek to uplift the quality of life of the people, more particularly the poor, the needy and the marginalized;
k. Active participation by and thorough consultation with concerned non-government organizations (NGOs), people's organizations (POs) and communities are imperative to ensure that basic policies, plans, programs and projects address the priority needs of stakeholders;
l. Respect for, protection and fulfillment of reproductive health rights seek to promote not only the rights and welfare of adult individuals and couples but those of adolescents' and children's as well; and
m. While nothing in this Act changes the law on abortion, as abortion remains a crime and is punishable, the government shall ensure that women seeking care for post-abortion complications shall be treated and counseled in a humane, non-judgmental and compassionate manner.