The RH Bill, which President Aquino calls the Responsible Parenthood Bill, “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.” (Get the full text here)
In fact, the population has been estimated to grow to as much as 97.6 million this 2012, as projected by executive director Tomas Osias of the Commission on Population (PopCom). Osias further said, “If the Reproductive Health bill will be passed this new year, it will be much better because information and services on family planning and responsible parenthood will be integrated in the system.” Osias further noted how proper population management may help expand the reach of the country’s economic growth and potential.
With the population boom, economists stressed how it would affect the country’s economic growth. Other effects would also include inequitable distribution of natural resources, food security and strained limited resources, greater disparity in children’s health and education opportunities.
During the late former President Corazon Aquino’s 9-year administration, the government did not procure contraceptives for its family planning programs. Families had to rely on foreign donations to gain access to birth control.
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At present, the country’s total fertility rate (TFR) is at 3.2, meaning that couples typically have three children although they really just wanted two. This accounts for 1.7 million new babies born each year, which Osias believes can be reduced to 1.5 should proper measures be undertaken by the government.
•January 1, 2012. Sheila Crisostomo. “Population to hit 97.6 million in 2012” philstar.com
•April 9, 2012. Ryan Ponce Pacpaco. “Gov’t urged to promote responsible parenthood bill” journal.com.ph
•April 10, 2012. “Parenthood a bill priority amid population boom” abs-cbnnews.com