Funds sought for reproductive health services

Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel lagman. (FILE PHOTO APPLICANT/JAM STA ROSA)

MANILA, Philippines — President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. should ensure adequate funding for reproductive health services, as it is the “least expensive way” to help achieve sustainable human development.

An opposition lawmaker made the appeal to the incoming administration amid reports that half of pregnancies in the Philippines from 2015 to 2019 were unintended.

Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman pushed to prioritize the “full and expeditious” implementation of Republic Health 10354, or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.

In a statement on Saturday, Lagman lamented that the budget for the law’s implementation fell to 842 million pesos in 2022 from 2.5 billion pesos in its first year of implementation in 2013.

This is “as the budget for infrastructure megaprojects, with fewer beneficiaries and longer payback periods, soared to several billion pesos,” he said.

“To achieve the law’s objectives, there is an urgent need to provide adequate and consistent funding for its swift and effective implementation,” Lagman added. “The law requires the state to provide free reproductive health services and supplies to the marginalized sector.”

—JULIE M. AURELIO

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