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A STUDY ON THE PRESENT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL OF THE PHILIPPINES

Over the years, several bills have been filed in both the Senate and Congress, proposing a law on reproductive health; all provoked the most polarizing public debates. It seems hard to think as to why some people are still against it when almost the entire world has been practicing contraception, family planning and such. This paper will try to compare the previous reproductive health bills to the present bill and answer some issues about the present bill. Senate Bill 2865 also known as The Reproductive Health Act of 2011 is the consolidated bill of earlier proposals, including The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010 and the Act Providing for a National Policy on Reproductive Health and Population and Development now being debated here in the Philippines. According to this bill, reproductive health refers to the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. This implies that people are able to have a safe and satisfying sex life, that they have the capability to reproduce and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so. This further implies that women and men attain equal relationships in matters related to sexual relations and reproduction. The objectives of this research paper are to identify and explain the scope of Reproductive Health Bill.

DEVELOPMENT OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILLS 12th Congress House Bill 4410- The Reproductive Health Care Agenda Act of 2001 According to this bill, reproductive health is defined as the state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity, in all matters relating to the reproductive system and to its functions and processes. Priority health care services of the reproductive health care program in this bill includes family planning, maternal and child health and nutrition, prevention and management of abortion, its complications and reproductive tract infections, education and counseling on sexuality and sexual health, mens reproductive health, adolescent and young health and prevention and treatment of infertility in which the DOH should be the lead and convene the National RH Management Committee consisting of representatives from POPCOM, DILG and NCRFW. NRHMC shall:

a) Formulate an integrated national policy and program on reproductive health that shall be implemented in the DOH-retained hospitals, the local government unit-managed health facilities, other health-related facilities operated by government organizations, as well as health facilities and services operated and managed by the private sector, NGOs and other civil society organizations that may opt to participate in implementing said policy; b) Review national and local laws and policies that infringe on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of all individuals and couples and ,recommend to appropriate executive and/or legislative bodies the amendment and/or repeal of such laws and policies; c) Strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, high-quality, and accessible, and affordable reproductive health services and commodities with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and mechanisms; d) Take active steps to expand the coverage of the National Health Insurance Program WHIP), especially among the poor and marginalized women, to include the full range of sexual and reproductive health services, commodities and supplies as health insurance benefits Section 5 of this bill stated that the provision for reproductive health care includes family planning counseling, information and education regardless of marital status and age. Furthermore, the full range of family planning methods both natural and modern could be used. Full range of contraceptive methods could also be accessed. In terms of sexual and reproductive health education, it could be integrated in schools, workplace and community. It would be required in the curriculum in public and private schools. 13th Congress Senate Bill 1280- The Reproductive Health Care Act There were two reproductive health bills filed during the thirteenth congress. One is Senate Bill 1280 introduced by Sen. Rodolfo G. Biazon and House Bill 16 introduced by Hon. Edcel C. Lagman. Senate bill 1280 also known as The Reproductive Health Care Act is an act providing for reproductive health care structures and appropriating funds therefor.It is state here that National RH Management Committee shall now be composed of the secretary of health as the chairperson and shall have the: secretaries of DSWD. DILG, DOLE, DepEd; lead covener of National Anti-Poverty Comission; chairpersons of Commission on Population, National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women, National Youth Council, Commission on Higher Education; two representatives of local government units to be nominated in a process determined by all the leagues of local government units, and to be appointed by the President for a term of three years; and three representatives from NGOS, who shall be composed of one

representative each from among the sectors representing women, youth and health, with a proven track record of involvement in the promotion of reproductive health as members. One more function is added to NRHMC and that is promoting the involvement and participation of and providing actual policy program and financial support to NGOs in reproductive health care and service delivery and in the production, distribution and delivery of high-quality reproductive health and family planning supplies and commodities to make them accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens. House Bill 16- Reproductive Health Care Act of 2004 NRHMC was now replaced with Reproductive Health and Population Management Council. The composition of the council is still the same except for the addition of the chairperson of the Housing Urban Development Council and another one representative from the local government units. The council shall have the following functions: a. To integrate on a continuing basis the interrelated reproductive health, human development and population management agenda into a national policy, taking into account regional and local concerns. b. To provide the mechanism to ensure active and full participation of the private sector and the citizens through their organizations in the planning and implementation of reproductive health care, population and development programs and projects. c. To ensure people's access to quality and affordable reproductive health goods and services. d. To facilitate the involvement and participation of nongovernment organizations 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. e. To fully implement the Reproductive Health Care Program f. To ensure that reproductive health services are delivered with a full range of supplies, facilities and equipment and that service providers are adequately trained for reproductive health care. g. To recommend the enactment of legislation and adoption of executive measures that will strengthen and enhance the integrated policy on reproductive health, population and development. h. To hire and appoint personnel of the Secretariat and the Executive Director. i. To perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act. Section 10 of this bill states that each congressional district should be provided with a van to deliver health care goods and services and disseminate information on reproductive health to be known as Mobile Health Care Service. The full range of family planning shall be thought by competent persons. Barangay Health Workers shall undergo retraining on the

delivery of reproductive health care services and shall receive a 10% increase in honoraria upon successful completion of training. In terms of reproductive health and sexuality education, it will become mandatory and will be thought starting grade 5 up to 4th year high school. 14th Congress House Bill 5043 Whats added to this bill is the provision regarding POPCOM. POPCOM shall serve as the central planning, coordinating, implementing, and monitoring body for the comprehensive and integrated policy on reproductive health and population development. The membership of the Board of Commissioners of POPCOM shall consist of the heads of the following AGENCIES: 1. National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) 2. Department of Health (DOH) 3. Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) 4. Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) 5. Department of Agriculture (DA) 6. Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) 7. Department of Education (DepEd) 8. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 9. Commission on Higher Education (CHED) 10. University of the Philippines Population Institute (UPPI) 11. Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines (ULAFI) 12. National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPQ 13. National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) 14. National Youth Commission (NYC) Senate Bill 3122- The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2009 New provisions were added to this bill like the deployment of an adequate number of midwives to achieve a minimum ratio of one fulltime skilled birth attendant for every one hundred fifty deliveries per year, to be based on the annual number of actual deliveries or live births for the past two years. According to this bill, each province and city shall ensure the establishment or upgrading of hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric care. At the very least, for every 500,000 population there shall be at least one hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care and four hospitals for basic

emergency obstetric care. Modern family planning methods requiring hospital services shall be available in all national and local government hospitals, except in specialty hospitals which may render such services on optional basis. For poor patients, such services shall be fully covered by PhilHealth Insurance and/or government financial assistance. The provision for mobile health care service remained in this bill. The full range of family planning would still be thought by competent persons. Barangay Health Workers shall undergo retraining on the delivery of reproductive health care services and shall receive a 10% increase in honoraria upon successful completion of training. In terms of reproductive health and sexuality education, it would still become mandatory and will be thought starting grade 5 up to 4th year high school Another added provision is that family planning supplies like Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, effective and legal family planning products and supplies shall be included under the category of essential medicines. DOH will also procure family planning supplies and distribute them to LGUs. The 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 into a 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 development programs and projects; 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.

15th Congress House Bill 96- the Reproductive Health and Population Development Act of 2010 Provisions: Midwives for skilled attendance- employment of an adequate number of midwives to achieve a minimum ratio of one fulltime skilled birth attendant for every one hundred fifty deliveries per year Emergency obstetric care- establishing or upgrading hospitals with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric care. Emergency obstetric care refers to lifesaving services for maternal complications being provided by a health facility or professional. There shall be at least 1 hospital for comprehensive emergency obstetric care and 4 hospitals for basic emergency obstetric care for every 500 000 population.

Access to family planning- all accredited facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods including pill, intra-uterine device (IUD), injectables, condom, ligation, vasectomy, and modern natural family planning methods which include mucus, Billings, ovulation, lactational amenorrhea, basal body temperature, and Standard Days methods. It shall be fully covered by PhliHealth Insurance for poor patients. PhilHealth shall also pay for the full cost of family planning for the next 3 years. Family planning supplies as essential medicine- Hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe and effective family planning products and supplies shall be part of the National Drug Formulary and the same shall be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national and local hospitals and other government health units. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies- DOH shall spearhead the efficient procurement, distribution to LGUs and usage-monitoring of family planning supplies for the whole country. The DOH shall coordinate with all appropriate LGU bodies to plan and implement this procurement and distribution program. Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions- All serious and life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers, and obstetric complications shall be given the maximum benefits as provided by PhilHealth programs. Mobile Health Care Service- Each Congressional District shall be provided with at least one Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas which shall deliver health care goods and services to constituents and shall be used to disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The purchase of the MHCS shall be funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of each Congressional District. The MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers and adequately equipped with a wide range of reproductive health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education- Ageappropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall be taught by adequately trained teachers starting from Grade Five up to Fourth Year High School. Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education shall commence at the start of the school year immediately following one year from the effectivity of this Act to allow the training of concerned teachers. The Department of Education (DEPED), Commission on Higher Education (CHED), TESDA, Department of

Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Department of Health (DOH) shall formulate the RH and Sexuality Education curriculum. Such curriculum shall be common to both public and private schools, out of school youth, and enrollees in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) based on, but not limited to, the following contents: psycho-social wellbeing, legal aspects of RH, demography and RH and physical wellbeing. 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 family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition. 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. 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.

House Bill 101- The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010 Almost all provisions in this bill were the same with House Bill 96 except that the provision for certificate of compliance stating that 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 family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition was removed. The provision stating that two is the ideal number of children was also discarded. House Bill 513- The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010 Very minor revision from the previous House bill 101. The provision for certificate of compliance and the provision stating that two is the ideal number of children were still discarded. In addition, the provision for Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education was enhanced by adding the ethical aspects of reproductive health in the curriculum.

House Bill 1160- The Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2010 In this bill, the provision in the previous bills about Access to Family Planning was changed to Surgical Family Planning. However the content of the provision was still the same and only the title was changed. Furthermore, there was no clear definition given in this bill about surgical family planning. The provision for Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies stating that DOH shall spearhead the efficient procurement, distribution to LGUs and usage-monitoring of family planning supplies for the whole country was omitted in this bill. House Bill 3387- Comprehensive Reproductive Health Act The bill does not only focus on population control, but also looks at the welfare and health of Filipino women. The rationale of the bill reads, A Comprehensive Reproductive Health Law is seen to offer health care services that will basically benefit women, especially the marginalized. Provisions of the bill include mandatory age-appropriate reproductive health education for girls 12 years old and below and adolescent women 13 to 19 years old. Chapter 2 section 7 of the bill provides for reproductive health education to girls, starting from pre-school up to grade 6, by adequately trained teachers. It mandates the Department of Education (Dep Ed), with support from the Commission on Population (Popcom) and the Department of Health (DOH), to formulate a Reproductive Health Education curriculum for use by both public and private schools. In Chapter 3 section 8, the Dep Ed and Commission on Higher Education (Ched) was tasked to formulate a Reproductive Health Education curriculum for students of public and private colleges and universities. The provision for emergency obstetric care was still included in the bill. However there were changes in other provisions. This includes: Birth attendants are now not limited only to midwives. Family planning supplies were now specified to contraceptives as essential medicines The provision for certificate of compliance stating that no marriage license shall be issued without certificate of compliance was restored. Capability building was now not limited only to barangay health workers but also to other community based volunteer workers. The provision for surgical family planning was now replaced with hospital based fertility management. Provision for Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs for PWDs. Private and non-government reproductive health care service providers, including but not limited to gynecologists and obstetricians, are mandated to provide, at least 200

hours annually, 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. Provisions for mental health services. Chapter 4 Section 21 reads that mental health is related to many aspects of sexual and reproductive health. Mental health issues among women, which the bill seeks to address, include, among others, perinatal depression and suicide, mental health and psychological consequences of gender-based violence, or HIV/AIDS, feelings of loss and guilt after miscarriage, stillbirth, or unsafe abortion. The bill stipulates that measures to promote the mental and psychological well-being of pregnant mothers should be incorporated into the health programs of lying-in clinics and public hospitals. Provision mandating DOH to promulgate researches on fibromyalgia and other relevant health issues affecting womens reproductive health.

House Bill 4244- Consolidated RH Bill with Authors Amendments House bill 4244 is the final consolidated bill of all the RH bills filed in the 15 th Congress. The provisions includes: Midwives for skilled attendance- it was chosen to specify that midwives will be the birth attendants just as stated in the previous bills filed under the 15th congress except only for house bill 3387 which did not limit birth attendants to midwife. The provision for emergency obstetric care. Access to family planning- instead of the proposed provision of house bill 1160 which was Surgical Family Planning. Family planning supplies as essential medicines instead of contraceptives proposed in House Bill 3387. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions Mobile Health Care Service to be funded by the National Government. Mandatory Age-Appropriate Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education in which parents shall exercise the option of not allowing their minor children to attend classes pertaining to Reproductive Health and Sexuality Education. Capability Building of Barangay Health Workers Certificate of compliance

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 hours (instead of 200) 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.

Senate Bill 2378- The Reproductive Health Act Midwives for skilled attendance Emergency obstetric care Access to family planning Family planning supplies as essential medicines Procurement and distribution of family planning supplies Benefits for serious and life- threatening reproductive health conditions Mobile health care service Mandatory age appropriate reproductive health and sexuality education Capability building of barangay health workers

SENATE BILL 2865- THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT OF 2011 Provisions included in this consolidated bill includes: Hiring of Skilled Health Professionals for Maternal Health Care and Skilled Birth Attendance- employment of adequate number of midwives and other skilled professionals for maternal health care and skilled birth attendance. Midwives and nurses were allowed by this bill to administer life-saving drugs under emergency conditions and when there are no physicians available. Provision of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care Access to Family Planning- All accredited and private health facilities shall provide a full range of family planning methods. Family Planning Supplies as Essential Medicines Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies PhilHealth Benefits for Serious and Life- Threatening Reproductive Health ConditionsAll serious life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers and obstetric complications shall be given the maximum benefits as provided in the guidelines set by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation. Mobile health care service to be funded from PDAF. Age- and Development- Appropriate Reproductive Health Education Capacity Building of Barangay Health Workers- LGUs with the technical assistance of DOH shall be responsible for the training of BHWs and other barangay volunteers. FEATURES OF THE BILL 1. Access to skilled health professionals before, during, and after delivery The bill aspires to address the number of mothers who die while giving birth and the high incident of infant mortality which are also connected with maternal health. The goal of the bill is to enable all pregnant women to have access to pre-natal care, to be attended to by a skilled health professional while giving birth, and to be given post-natal care for her and her newborn. 2. Establishment and upgrading of facilities and training of skilled health professionals Section 12 (Mobile Health Care Service) further necessitates each congressional district to acquire a mobile health care service in the form of a van or other means of transportation to

ensure the provision of health care goods and services even to people living in remote areas. Section 6 (Provision for emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care) calls for the establishment and upgrading of facilities with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies in every province or city to be able to provide emergency obstetric and newborn care. To further address the scarcity in medical personnel in certain localities, Sections 5 and 14 (Capacity Building of Barangay Health Workers) directs the hiring of an adequate number of skilled health professionals such as doctors, nurses and midwives and the training of barangay health workers (BHWs) in each respective local government unit (LGU). 3. Addressing HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Diseases The bill recognizes the threat of an HIV epidemic in the country demonstrated by the sharp increase in reported HIV cases. As stated by Sen. Pia Cayetano, among the 63 countries with HIV infections, the Philippines is one of the only seven countries with increasing prevalence. To address this problem, Section 11 provides that all serious and life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS shall be given the maximum benefits under PhilHealth. 4. Access to different family planning methods Senate Bill No. 2865 does not require or force any individual to choose one form of family planning method over the other, or even to use any family planning method at all. It merely seeks to provide all Filipinos especially the poor with accurate and sufficient information on family planning methods necessary for them to make an informed choice as to how many children they want, when they want it and what family planning method to use. The goal is to provide all Filipinos with information and access, without bias, to quality reproductive health care services and supplies essential to the promotion of every person's right to health.

5. Age- and Development- Appropriate Reproductive Health Education The bill recognizes the idea that lack of education and awareness is the root of all reproductive health problems such as maternal death and HIV. It also recognizes that knowledge is the best tool in the battle against these problems. It is for this reason that Section

13 (Age- and Development- Appropriate Reproductive Health Education) provides for reproductive health education to be taught by adequately trained teachers in formal and nonformal educational systems and integrated in age and development appropriate subjects. It is also important to note that the bill mandates that minors are taught the value of healthy relationships including how abstinence is still the best form of protection from pregnancy and diseases. Age appropriate means that 9 year old children will not be taught how to use contraceptives. QUESTIONS ABOUT THE PRESENT REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH BILL 1. Is RH bill constitutional? Constitutionality is one of the most used arguments against the reproductive health bill but yes it is indeed constitutional. As Senator Miriam Defensor stated, the bill is mandated by the Bill of Rights, particularly Article 3 Section 7 stating the right of the people to information on matters of public concern shall be recognized. The right of the mother in the lowest social class is equal to the right of the mother in the highest social class. Thus, to make information on reproductive health accessible to the rich but not to the poor would be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause. Reproductive health promotes social justice by providing access to RH services to poor Filipinos otherwise enjoyed by those with money. The rich can pay for contraceptives they want but not the poor who likewise want to use them. The right to make informed decisions and do so without coercion should be enjoyed by all citizens. RH is a human right guaranteed by the State. As persons, women have the same human right to life as everyone else. The RH bill provides for life-saving services that fulfills this provision. Thus, enacting it is in accordance with the Constitution. Art. XIII, Section 11 of the constitution states that The State shall adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable cost. There shall be priority for the needs of the under-privileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers. The Constitution identifies health as a right and guarantees health programs to benefit all Filipinos and specifically address needs of those who have less. RH services are among these needs. Moreover, an RH law will facilitate implementation of health-related Constitutional provisions because it will provide services including: mobile health clinics; training more skilled birth attendants; upgrading hospital

facilities, equipment and services; and provision of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetrics care. Therefore, the bill fully complies with the Constitution. Furthermore, Senator Pia Cayetano on her sponsorship speech mentioned the constitutional basis of the bill. It includes: Article II Section 15. The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them. Article II Section 12. The State shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception. 2. Will RH Bill legalize abortion? As what the principal sponsor of senate bill 2865, Sen. Pia Cayetano, said, RH bill will not lead to the legalization of abortion, nor serve as a back road for legalized abortion services. It is clearly stated in the bill that abortion is illegal and the bill will do nothing to change that. In contrary, unsafe abortions in the Philippines will be reduced if the reproductive health bill will be passed because it will promote modern family planning that could reduce unwanted pregnancy. 3. Will the present bill impose a certain family size? The present bill would not impose certain family size. Although some of the previous reproductive health bills filed contained provision for the ideal number of children, it was only a suggestion and no one is mandated to follow it. Furthermore that provision was removed in the present bill.

SUMMARY Reproductive health bills have long been proposed here in the Philippines. As evidence of this are not just one but so many bills concerning reproductive health. Through the years there are many reproductive health bills filed because the legislators are trying to create the best and the most acceptable bill about reproductive health care. Although there are many different bills, its objectives are almost the same which are to save the lives of the mother and the unborn, provide Filipinos with information on their reproductive health and provide Filipinos with access to health care facilities and skilled health professionals. The present bill (Senate Bill 2865) wants to enable all pregnant women to have access to pre-natal care, to be attended to by a skilled health professional while giving birth, and to be given post-natal care for her and her newborn. Establishing and upgrading of facilities and training of skilled health professionals are also regarded in the bill. The bill also directs the hiring of an adequate number of skilled health professionals and the training of barangay health workers (BHWs). The bill recognizes the threat of an HIV epidemic in the country demonstrated by the sharp increase in reported HIV cases. Furthermore, the bill wants to provide access to different methods of family planning but it is not required. Lastly, it also recognizes that knowledge is the best tool in the battle against these problems. There are many misconceptions about the present bill. The RH bill is constitutional because it anchored in certain provisions of the constitution. We could only be sure its unconstitutional if the Supreme Court declared so. The bill would not legalize abortion and would not declare a required family size. The objectives of the present and most of the previous reproductive health bills were to save the lives of the mother and the unborn, provide Filipinos with information on their reproductive health and provide Filipinos with access to health care facilities and skilled health professionals. Features of the bill include access to skilled health professionals before, during, and after delivery, establishment and upgrading of facilities and training of skilled health professionals, addressing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases, access to different family planning method and age- and development- appropriate reproductive health education The bill is constitutional and will not legalize abortion nor impose a family size.