Consolidated text of Reproducitve Health bill, HB 4244 – Part II
SEC. 17. Additional Duty of the Local Population Officer
Each Local Population Officer of every city and municipality shall furnish free instructions and information on responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding, infant nutrition and other relevant aspects of this Act to all applicants for marriage license. In the absence of a local Population Officer, a Family Planning Officer under the Local Health Office shall discharge the additional duty of the Population Officer.
SEC. 18. Certificate of Compliance
No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.
SEC. 19. Capability Building of Barangay Health Workers
Barangay Health Workers and other community-based health workers shall undergo training on the promotion of reproductive health and shall receive at least 10% increase in honoraria, upon successful completion of training.
SEC. 20. Ideal Family Size
The State shall assist couples, parents and individuals to achieve their desired family size within the context of responsible parenthood for sustainable development and encourage them to have two children as the ideal family size. Attaining the ideal family size is neither mandatory nor compulsory. No punitive action shall be imposed on parents having more than two children.
SEC. 21. Employers’ Responsibilities
The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) shall ensure that employers respect the reproductive rights of workers. Consistent with the intent of Article 134 of the Labor Code, employers with more than two hundred (200) employees shall provide reproductive health services to all employees in their own respective health facilities. Those with less than two hundred (200) workers shall enter into partnerships with hospitals, health facilities, or health professionals in their areas for the delivery of reproductive health services.
Employers shall furnish in writing the following information to all employees and applicants:
(a) The medical and health benefits which workers are entitled to, including maternity and paternity leave benefits and the availability of family planning services;
(b) The reproductive health hazards associated with work, including hazards that may affect their reproductive functions especially pregnant women; and
(c) The availability of health facilities for workers.
Employers are obliged to monitor pregnant working employees among their workforce and ensure that they are provided paid half-day prenatal medical leaves for each month of the pregnancy period that the pregnant employee is employed in their company or organization. These paid pre-natal medical leaves shall be reimbursable from the Social Security System (SSS) or the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), as the case may be.
SEC. 22. Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women
Private and non-government reproductive health care service providers, including but not limited to gynecologists and obstetricians, are mandated to provide at least forty-eight (48) hours annually of reproductive health services, ranging from providing information and education to rendering medical services free of charge to indigent and low income patients, especially to pregnant adolescents. These forty-eight (48) hours annual pro bono services shall be included as pre-requisite in the accreditation under the PhilHealth.
SEC. 23. Sexual And Reproductive Health Programs For Persons With Disabilities (PWDs)
The cities and municipalities must ensure that barriers to reproductive health services for PWDs are obliterated by the following:
(a) providing physical access, and resolving transportation and proximity issues to clinics, hospitals and places where public health education is provided, contraceptives are sold or distributed or other places where reproductive health services are provided;
(b) adapting examination tables and other laboratory procedures to the needs and conditions of persons with disabilities;
(c) increasing access to information and communication materials on sexual and reproductive health in braille, large print, simple language, and pictures;
(d) providing continuing education and inclusion rights of persons with disabilities among health-care providers; and
(e) undertaking activities to raise awareness and address misconceptions among the general public on the stigma and their lack of knowledge on the sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of persons with disabilities.
SEC. 24. Right to Reproductive Health Care Information
The government shall guarantee the right of any person to provide or receive non-fraudulent information about the availability of reproductive health care services, including family planning, and prenatal care.
The DOH and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) shall initiate and sustain a heightened nationwide multi-media campaign to raise the level of public awareness of the protection and promotion of reproductive health and rights including family planning and population and development.
SEC. 25. Implementing Mechanisms
Pursuant to the herein declared policy, the DOH and the Local Health Units in cities and municipalities shall serve as the lead agencies for the implementation of this Act and shall integrate in their regular operations the following functions:
(a) Ensure full and efficient implementation of the Reproductive Health Care Program;
(b) Ensure people’s access to medically safe, legal, effective, quality and affordable reproductive health supplies and services;
(c) Ensure that reproductive health services are delivered with a full range of supplies, facilities and equipment and that healthcare service providers are adequately trained for such reproductive health care delivery;
(d) Take active steps to expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP), especially among poor and marginalized women, to include the full range of reproductive health services and supplies as health insurance benefits;
(e) Strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, legal, effective, quality, accessible and affordable reproductive health services and commodities with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and mechanisms;
(f) Promulgate a set of minimum reproductive health standards for public health facilities, which shall be included in the criteria for accreditation. These minimum reproductive health standards shall provide for the monitoring of pregnant mothers, and a minimum package of reproductive health programs that shall be available and affordable at all levels of the public health system except in specialty hospitals where such services are provided on optional basis;
(g) Facilitate the involvement and participation of NGOs and the private sector in reproductive health care service delivery and in the production, distribution and delivery of quality reproductive health and family planning supplies and commodities to make them accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens;
(h) Furnish LGUs with appropriate information and resources to keep them updated on current studies and researches relating to responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition; and
(i) Perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act.
The Commission on Population (POPCOM), as an attached agency of DOH, shall serve as the coordinating body in the implementation of this Act and shall have the following functions:
(a) Integrate on a continuing basis the interrelated reproductive health and population development agenda consistent with the herein declared national policy, taking into account regional and local concerns;
(b) Provide the mechanism to ensure active and full participation of the private sector and the citizenry through their organizations in the planning and implementation of reproductive health care and population and development programs and projects; and
(c) Conduct sustained and effective information drives on sustainable human development and on all methods of family planning to prevent unintended, unplanned and mistimed pregnancies.
SEC. 26. Reporting Requirements
Before the end of April of each year, the DOH shall submit an annual report to the President of the Philippines, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives (HOR). The report shall provide a definitive and comprehensive assessment of the implementation of its programs and those of other government agencies and instrumentalities, civil society and the private sector and recommend appropriate priorities for executive and legislative actions. The report shall be printed and distributed to all national agencies, the LGUs, civil society and the private sector organizations involved in said programs.
The annual report shall evaluate the content, implementation and impact of all policies related to reproductive health and family planning to ensure that such policies promote, protect and fulfill reproductive health and rights, particularly of parents, couples and women.
SEC. 27. Congressional Oversight Committee (COC)
There is hereby created a Congressional Oversight Committee composed of five (5) members each from the Senate and the HOR. The members from the Senate and the HOR shall be appointed by the Senate President and the Speaker, respectively, based on proportional representation of the parties or coalition therein with at least one (1) member representing the Minority.
The COC shall be headed by the respective Chairs of the Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Population and Family Relations of the HOR. The Secretariat of the COC shall come from the existing Secretariat personnel of the Senate’ and the HOR’ committees concerned
The COC shall monitor and ensure the effective implementation of this Act, determine the inherent weakness and loopholes in the law, recommend the necessary remedial legislator or administrative measures and perform such other duties and functions as may be necessary to attain the objectives of this Act.
SEC. 28. Prohibited Acts
The following acts are prohibited:
(a) Any healthcare service provider, whether public or private, who shall:
(1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health, including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe and effective family planning methods;
(2) Refuse to perform legal and medically-safe reproductive health procedures on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of third party consent or authorization. In case of married persons, the mutual consent of the spouses shall be preferred. However in case of disagreement, the decision of the one undergoing the procedure shall prevail. In the case of abused minors where parents or other family members are the respondent, accused or convicted perpetrators as certified by the proper prosecutorial office or court, no prior parental consent shall be necessary; and
(3) Refuse to extend health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, personal circumstances, or nature of work; Provided, That, the conscientious objection of a healthcare service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another healthcare service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible who is willing to provide the requisite information and services; Provided, further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in RA 8344 otherwise known as “An Act Penalizing the Refusal of Hospitals and Medical Clinics to Administer Appropriate Initial Medical Treatment and Support in Emergency and Serious Cases”.
(b) Any public official who, personally or through a subordinate, prohibits or restricts the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning; or forces, coerces or induces any person to use such services.
(c) Any employer or his representative who shall require an employee or applicant, as a condition for employment or continued employment, to undergo sterilization or use or not use any family planning method; neither shall pregnancy be a ground for non-hiring or termination of employment.
(d) Any person who shall falsify a certificate of compliance as required in Section 15 of this Act; and
(e) Any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act
SEC. 29. Penalties
Any violation of this Act or commission of the foregoing prohibited acts shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of Ten Thousand (P 10,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P 50,000.00) or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the competent court; Provided That, if the offender is a public official or employee, he or she shall suffer the accessory penalty of dismissal from the government service and forfeiture of retirement benefits. If the offender is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the president or any responsible officer. An offender who is an alien shall, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without further proceedings by the Bureau of Immigration.
SEC. 30. Appropriations
The amounts appropriated in the current annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Family Health and Responsible Parenting under the DOH and POPCOM shall be allocated and utilized for the initial implementation of this Act. Such additional sums necessary to implement this Act; provide for the upgrading of facilities necessary to meet Basic Emergency Obstetric Care and Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric Care standards; train and deploy skilled health providers; procure family planning supplies and commodities as provided in Sec. 6; and implement other reproductive health services, shall be included in the subsequent GAA.
SEC. 31. Implementing Rules and Regulations
Within sixty (60) days from the effectivity of this Act, the Secretary of the DOH shall formulate and adopt amendments to the existing rules and regulations to carry out the objectives of this Act, in consultation with the Secretaries of the DepED, the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), the DOLE, the DSWD, the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), and the Commissioner of CHED, the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), and two NGOs or Peoples’ Organizations (POs) for women. Full dissemination of the IRR to the public shall be ensured.
SEC. 32. Separability Clause
If any part or provision of this Act is held invalid or unconstitutional, other provisions not affected thereby shall remain in force and effect.
SEC. 33. Repealing Clause
All other laws, decrees, orders, issuances, rules and regulations which are inconsistent with the provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, amended or modified accordingly.
SEC. 34. Effectivity
This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days after its publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.
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