The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011

August 8th, 2012

Consolidated text of Reproducitve Health bill, HB 4244 – Part II

Click here for Part I

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.

For downloadable file, click here

The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011

August 8th, 2012

Consolidated text of Reproducitve Health bill, HB 4244 – Part I

SEC. 1. Title

This Act shall be known as the “The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011.”

SEC. 2. Declaration of Policy

The State recognizes and guarantees the exercise of the universal basic human right to reproductive health by all persons, particularly of parents, couples and women, consistent with their religious convictions, cultural beliefs and the demands of responsible parenthood. Toward this end, there shall be no discrimination against any person on grounds of sex, age, religion, sexual orientation, disabilities, political affiliation and ethnicity.

Moreover, the State recognizes and guarantees the promotion of gender equality, equity and women’s empowerment as a health and human rights concern. The advancement and protection of women’s human rights shall be central to the efforts of the State to address reproductive health care. As a distinct but inseparable measure to the guarantee of women’s rights, the State recognizes and guarantees the promotion of the welfare and rights of children.

The State likewise guarantees universal access to medically-safe, legal, affordable, effective and quality reproductive health care services, methods, devices, supplies and relevant information and education thereon even as it prioritizes the needs of women and children, among other underprivileged sectors.

The State shall eradicate discriminatory practices, laws and policies that infringe on a person’s exercise of reproductive health rights.

SEC. 3. Guiding Principles

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Same Sex Holy Union in Baguio City, Philippines

July 2nd, 2011

Ellen Degeneres-Portia WeddingAfter the much publicized legalization of same sex marriage in New York, another hot issue and much debated topic surfaced as the news of same sex holy union (or marriage)  was performed on June 25, 2011 by Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) for its Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Baguio City, Philippines. This is the third in the country, with Makati City and Quezon City as the first two cities, that ministers to the gay community.

A total of eight (8) pairs went through the ceremony during the first mass gay wedding in the Philippines. The legalization of gay marriages in New York also started the talks of legalizing same-sex marriages in the Philippines

According to the Family Code of the Philippines,

Art. 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code. (52a)

Therefore, same sex marriage is not yet legally recognized in the Philippines. But, let us not forget that the wedding was conducted by a Church that has its own beliefs and practices. As such, we should respect their right to exercise their beliefs.

An excerpt from MCC website states that

There are no provisions under the current Philippine law allowing for same-sex marriage. Only people of the opposite sex are currently allowed ‘marriage” in the Philippines. The MCCMB DOES NOT officiate Same-Sex “MARRIAGE”. On the other hand, Same-Sex “HOLY UNION” is a sacrament of the Church. It is a rite being conducted by the MCC in the Philippines for same-sex couples who wish to declare their partnership and unconditional love for their partner before God and the community of faithful. Holy Union rites are neither legal or illegal. A holy union may not be legally-binding under current Philippine laws but it is morally-binding under God.

Interested to be a part of their community? You may visit the website of Metropolitan Community Church

Same Sex Marriages in New York Now Legal

June 26th, 2011

Nick Harris David Burtka Engaged

Last Friday, New Your became the sixth and by far the largest state to legalize same-sex marriage. Before the bill was passed, the New York Assembly passed same-sex marriage legislation twice before, in 2007 and 2009, but in both cases it stalled in the state Senate, as it nearly did again this week.

According to an analysis of U.S. census data conducted by the Williams Institute, New York is home to more than 42,000 same-sex couples. With a population over 19 million — more than the combined population of the five states that currently allow gay marriage, plus the District of Columbia, where it is also legal — New York is poised to provide the most complete picture yet of the legal, social and economic consequences of gay marriage.

Suzanne Goldberg, a professor at Columbia Law School, said that “I think that having same-sex marriage in New York will have tremendous moral and political force for the rest of the country — in part because New York is a large state, and in part because it hasn’t come easily.”

Following the passing of the Bill, news came about that Neil Patrick Harris, 38-year-old How I Met Your Mother star, and David Burtka whose engagement is said to over five years are planning to say “I do” now that gay marriage is legal in New York!

If same sex marriage is already legalized in six states of US and other countries, when can be the less controversial issue of divorce be practiced in the Philippines?

House Bill No. 1799 – Divorce Bill Of the Philippines

June 25th, 2011

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE
Quezon City

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

House Bill No. 1799

Date Filed: July 27, 2010

Introduced by GABRIELA Women’s Party
Representatives LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN and EMERENCIANA A. DE JESUS


AN ACT INTRODUCING DIVORCE IN THE PHILIPPINES, AMENDING FOR THE PURPOSE TITLE II, ARTICLES 55 TO 66 INCLUSIVE AND ARTICLE 26 OF EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 209, AS AMENDED, OTHERWISE KNOWN AS THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES, AND REPEALING ARTICLE 36 OF THE SAME CODE, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the Philippines in Congress assembled:

SECTION 1. Title II of Executive Order No. 209, amended, otherwise known as The Family Code of the Philippines, is hereby amended to read as follows:

“TITLE II
LEGAL SEPARATION AND DIVORCE”

SECTION 2. Articles 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62) 63, 64, 65 and 66 of Executive Order No. 209, as amended, otherwise known as The Family Code of the Philippines, are also hereby amended to read as follows:

“Art. 55 (A). A petition for legal separation may be filed on any of
the following grounds:

(1) Repeated physical violence or grossly abusive conduct directed against the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner;
(2) Physical violence or moral pressure to compel the petitioner to change religious or political affiliation;
(3) Attempt of respondent to corrupt or induce the petitioner, a common child, or a child of the petitioner, to engage in prostitution, or
connivance in such corruption or inducement;
(4) Final judgment sentencing the respondent to imprisonment of more
than six years, even if pardoned;
(5) Drug addiction or habitual alcoholism of the respondent;
(6) Lesbianism or homosexuality-of the respondent;
(7) Contracting by the respondent of a subsequent bigamous marriage,
whether in the Philippines or abroad;,
(8) Sexual infidelity or perversion;
(9) Attempt by the respondent against life of the petitioner; or
(10) Abandonment of petitioner by respondent without justifiable cause for more than one year.

For purposes of this Article, the term “child” shall include a child
by nature or by adoption.

(B) A PETITION FOR DIVORCE MAY BE FILED ON ANY OF THE
FOLLOWING GROUNDS:

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House Bill No. 1799 – Divorce Bill Of the Philippines Explanatory Note

June 24th, 2011

Republic of the Philippines
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE
Quezon City

FIFTEENTH CONGRESS
First Regular Session

House Bill No. 1799

Date Filed: July 27, 2010

Introduced by GABRIELA Women’s Party

Representatives LUZVIMINDA C. ILAGAN and EMERENCIANA A. DE JESUS

EXPLANATORY NOTE

Underpinning this proposal is a commitment to the policy of the State to protect and strengthen marriage and the family as basic social institutions, to value the dignity of every human person, to guarantee full respect for human rights, and to ensure the fundamental equality before the law of women and men.

In the Filipino culture, marriage is regarded as a sacred union, and the family founded on marriage is considered as a fount of love, protection and care. Philippine society generally frowns upon and discourages marital break-ups and so provides cultural and legal safeguards to preserve marital relations. Cultural prescriptions and religious norms keep many couples together despite the breakdown of the marriage. But the cultural prescriptions for women and men differ. Women are traditionally regarded as primarily responsible for making the marriage work and are expected to sacrifice everything to preserve the marriage and the solidarity of the family. While absolute fidelity is demanded of wives, men are granted sexual license to have affairs outside marriage. Yet when the marriage fails, the woman is blamed for its failure.

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What is Divorce?

December 7th, 2010

Divorce is defined as the dissolution of a marriage by judgment of a court or by accepted customs.

The Family Code of the Philippines

November 1st, 2010

MALACAÑANG
Manila

EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. 209
THE FAMILY CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES

WHEREAS, almost four decades have passed since the adoption of the Civil Code of the Philippines;

WHEREAS, experience under said Code as well as pervasive changes and development have necessitated revision of its provisions on marriage and family relations to bring them closer to Filipino customs, values and ideals and reflect contemporary trends and conditions;

WHEREAS, there is need to implement policies embodied in the new Constitution that strengthen marriage and the family as basic social institutions and ensure equality between men and women;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, CORAZON C. AQUINO, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me, do hereby order and promulgate the Family Code of the Philippines, as follows:

TITLE I
MARRIAGE

Chapter 1. Requisites of Marriage

Art. 1. Marriage is a special contract of permanent union between a man and a woman entered into in accordance with law for the establishment of conjugal and family life. It is the foundation of the family and an inviolable social institution whose nature, consequences, and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that marriage settlements may fix the property relations during the marriage within the limits provided by this Code. (52a)

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