DAVAO CITY, January 15, 2017 — Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella has asked groups opposing the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law to “keep an open mind” about its implementation.
This as President Rodrigo Duterte last week released an Executive Order mandating government agencies to implement the law to meet the needs of families, especially those coming from marginalized sectors who have more than one children in the household.
In an interview over Radyo ng Bayan last Saturday, Abella said EO No. 12 was an effort “to ensure that parents can provide for their children through family planning methods” especially since the Supreme Court had executed a temporary restraining order (TRO) over concerns that the law was unconstitutional.
Duterte signed EO 12 last January 9 in an attempt to reach the maximum number of poor families who do not have access to proper reproductive and maternal and child health care.
The Department of Health (DOH), at the beginning of the Duterte administration, had vowed to fight the SC over the constitutionality of the law.
Abella said even with the TRO, other aspects of the law could still be implemented.
“Ang panawagan po natin sa kanila is to have a broader and a more open mind, hindi lang po basta coming from ideology. Kailangan po siguro na mag-evolve rin ang pagiisip ng certain sectors in society… na maging mas bukas sila at maintindihan nila ang kalagayan ng tao,” he said.
“We need to be able to be more responsible even with our faith. Kailangang mapakain din natin ‘yung pamilya natin, di ba,” he added.
The United Nations Population Fund recently applauded the Duterte administration’s implementation of the long-overdue program.