Tag Archives: Esperanza Cabral

[Statement] Doctors, Nurses and Midwives Rally Behind RH Provisions

Doctors, Nurses and Midwives Rally Behind RH Provisions

Purple-Ribbon-Logo_RH-NOW-560x47111 December, Manila – In a timely, humane and compassionate manner, 100,000 doctors and nurses, and 167,000 midwives represented by twenty-three (23) health care professional organizations finally showed their in support for the reproductive health bill in a press conference at the Philippine General Hospital today.

“We can no longer turn a blind eye because we are part of the life-saving solution,” said Philippine Medical Association (PMA), “As health care providers we simply cannot be reduced to being for or against the bill because our obligation has and will always be about saving lives, and the longer we stay quiet, the more lives are lost.”

The group presented a manifesto calling for the protection of seven (7) life-giving provisions –

1. That the State protect the individual’s freedom to decide what family planning method s/he wants to use (whether natural or artificial).

2. That the Bill should have explicit statements against induced abortion.

3. That the State should protect the couple’s right to decide on their ideal family size.

4. That the State should recognize and respect religious rights and convictions of both patients and caregivers.

5. That RH education should include value formation, and be age-appropriate.

6. That the provision for reproductive health services be improved.

7. That guidelines on use of specific contraceptives, including warnings on safety should be left to the discretion of the FDA. This will allow recommendations to evolve as scientific knowledge advances.

Both the House of Representatives and Senate are expected to vote on measure within the week.

The manifesto signing was led by the Philippine Medical Association. The other signatories were Former Department of Health (DOH) Secretaries Dr. Alberto Romualdez and Dr. Esperanza Cabral, Former Philippine Medical Association (PMA) President Dr. Santiago del Rosario, Philippine Medical Association (PMA), Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS), Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine (PSNbM), Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP), Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina, Inc. (KMI), National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Health, Philippine College of Physicians (PCP), Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine (PSGIM), Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID), UP School of Health Sciences, Palo, Leyte, Philippine Ambulatory Pediatric Association, UP Manila College of Nursing, Ortoll Reproductive Primary Health Care Center, University of the Philippines Manila, Philippine Society of Hypertension, Child Protection Unit, Philippine General Hospital, National Institute of Health, Philippine Family Planning Consortium, Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, and Asia Pacific Center for Evidence Based Medicine.

We, the members of twenty-three (23) healthcare professional organizations representing 100,000 doctors and nurses, and 167,000 midwives, hereby declare that:

While the Philippines seems to be closing in on most of its Millennium Development Goals, it will miss its targets for two most vulnerable groups, mothers and newborns. Each year, an estimated 4000 thousand mothers and 40,000 thousand newborns die, mostly amongst the poor urban and rural communities. These are indisputable scientific facts and, as healthcare professionals responsible for these patients, we cannot turn a blind eye to their plight.

While we agree that there are other ways to reduce these deaths, we believe that the Reproductive Health Bill can accelerate our progress towards these goals. In this pursuit, we should protect the following key provisions:

1. That the State protect the individual’s freedom to decide what family planning method s/he wants to use (whether natural or artificial).

2. That the Bill should have explicit statements against induced abortion.

3. That the State should protect the couple’s right to decide on their ideal family size.

4. That the State should recognize and respect religious rights and convictions of both patients and caregivers.

5. That RH education should include value formation, and be age-appropriate.

6. That the provision for reproductive health services be improved.

7. That guidelines on use of specific contraceptives, including warnings on safety should be left to the discretion of the FDA. This will allow recommendations to evolve as scientific knowledge advances.

We believe that by protecting these key provisions, our legislators will be able to craft an RH Bill that is beneficial to the greater majority, and especially the poor and underprivileged. ”

Signed:
1 Dr. Alberto Romualdez, Former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary
2 Dr. Esperanza Cabral, Former Department of Health (DOH) Secretary
3 Dr. Santiago del Rosario, Former PMA President
4 Philippine Medical Association (PMA)
5 Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS)
6 Philippine Society of Newborn Medicine (PSNbM)
7 Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP)
8 Kalusugan ng Mag-Ina, Inc. (KMI)
9 National Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Department of Health
10 Philippine College of Physicians (PCP)
11 Philippine Society of General Internal Medicine (PSGIM)
12 Philippine Society for Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (PSMID)
13 UP School of Health Sciences, Palo, Leyte
14 Philippine Ambulatory Pediatric Association
15 UP Manila College of Nursing
16 Ortoll Reproductive Primary Health Care Center
17 University of the Philippines Manila
18 Philippine Society of Hypertension
19 Child Protection Unit, Philippine General Hospital
20 National Institute of Health
21 Philippine Family Planning Consortium
22 Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital
23 Asia Pacific Center for Evidence Based Medicine

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[In the news] Ballooning population blamed for hunger | The Philippine Star News Headlines

Ballooning population blamed for hunger | The Philippine Star News Headlines.
By Helen Flores (The Philippine Star)
Source: Philstar.com

 

File photo source BMP

MANILA, Philippines – Supporters of the Reproductive Health (RH) bill have blamed the country’s ballooning population for the reported rise in hunger incidence in the last three months.

Benjamin de Leon, president of the Forum for Family Planning and Development (The Forum), said on Saturday that the latest survey by the Social Weather Stations (SWS), which showed that more Filipinos experienced involuntary hunger in the past three months, “is a reflection of the dire need for the country to be better educated on the benefits of family planning to address the problem of the growing number of Filipinos who have experienced hunger and poverty.”

The SWS survey, conducted from March 4 to 7, found 20.5 percent of respondents or about 4.1 million families who went hungry at least once in the past three months.

This was up from the 18.1 percent (an estimated 3.4 million families) recorded in November 2010, the SWS said.

President Aquino earlier said the survey may have failed to include the beneficiaries of the government’s conditional cash transfer program who are mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao.

“Even if the survey only covered Manila, it still demonstrates that hunger and poverty are climbing in the capital. The President’s Cabinet may be telling him that things are getting better, but the people are telling him their conditions are getting worse,” De Leon said.

“Who is better to speak for the people than the people themselves? The random answer given in the survey said that they are poor, they are hungry. They want to alleviate their poverty. I think that if they are given the choice of family planning methods, the survey would not be this disheartening,” De Leon said.

Citing a paper released by the University of the Philippines School of Economics, De Leon said the “rapid population growth and high fertility rates, especially among the poor, do exacerbate poverty and make it harder for the government to address it.”

The Asian Development Bank made the same opinion in its Country Poverty Analysis for the Philippines, said De Leon.

“Giving poor women the ability to have only as many children as they plan to have will curb rising hunger and poverty,” De Leon said quoting the ADB report.

De Leon said that with the RH bill, families would spend less money on their basic needs.

“Unplanned children mean unwanted expenses. Money spent by the poorest families on pre- and post-natal care, child care, housing, and school supplies could go to alleviating the rising hunger and poverty that SWS has identified they are facing,” De Leon said.

Civil society groups, including The Forum, have been asking Aquino to certify the RH bill as urgent.

“Much to the disappointment of the Catholic Church, the government had been consistent in its position on responsible parenthood and reproductive health through its current programs but this is just a stopgap measure. Given the current situation, certifying the RH bill as urgent is a big leap in addressing the poverty situation for the long term,” De Leon said.

Participation welcomed

Meantime, a Malacañang official yesterday welcomed Filipino world-class singer Lea Salonga’s voice in the raging debate over the Reproductive Health bill, even if this is against the stand of the Roman Catholic Church.

“As a private citizen, she is perfectly entitled to voice out her opinion. Our focus is really on hearing the opinions of stakeholders,” said deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte.

The RH bill, which has been vigorously opposed by the bishops, is now with the House of Representatives, where six consolidated bills will be undergoing plenary deliberations before it can be approved and sent to the Senate.

Over the weekend, Ms. Salonga joined about 300 residents of posh Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City, where they voiced their concerns and opposed a local ordinance that prohibited the use of condoms.

The residents trooped to the Ayala Alabang gate at the corner of Commerce and Madrigal Avenues to protest Ordinance No. 1 that restricts the sale of contraceptives without a doctor’s prescription.

“As a citizen of this peaceful barangay, I oppose this ordinance,” said Salonga, adding that she is “disappointed” with the local measure. The world-acclaimed singer said she decided to live in the posh village as it has a harmonious community.

Salonga clarified that although she is an RH advocate, she considers this a separate issue.

Former health secretary Esperanza Cabral, also an Ayala Alabang resident, likewise opposed the ordinance, saying no one should dictate on what people should do regarding this matter.

Cabral is worried that other LGUs might issue a similar ordinance.

In late March, seven barangays in Balanga City in Bataan province issued ordinances that ban the sale of condoms without a doctor’s prescription.

Other Ayala Alabang residents who supported the demonstration are business leader Pete Wallace, artist and tour guide Carlos Celdran, and other NGO groups. -With Delon Porcalla

[Press release] SC allows ex-Health Secretaries to intervene in landmark tobacco case

Dr. Esperanza Cabral source: prodeoetpatria.blogspot.com

Are pictures on cigarette packs not too far behind? The Supreme Court granted the petition of five Former Health Secretaries to intervene in the legal battle between the Department of Health (DOH) and the tobacco industry over the validity of DOH Administrative Order No. 13 or the Graphic Health Information order.

“The wheels of justice are in motion,” said Dr. Esperanza Cabral, one of the intervenors and the Secretary who issued the order in May 2010. “Health justice is not far behind, we hope sooner rather than later.”

In January of this year, the five former Health Secretaries Esperanza Cabral, Jimmy Galvez-Tan, Francisco Duque, Alfredo Bengzon and Alberto Romualdez filed the petition to intervene in the case between Mighty Tobacco and the DOH pending before the Supreme Court.

The intervenors, all medical doctors, have witnessed the devastating effects of tobacco use on the health and well-being of Filipinos whom they served in their decades of practice. World Health Organization estimates place the number of deaths of Filipinos from tobacco at 240 a day, making it an alarming public health crisis. Seven out of the ten primary causes of mortality in the country – stroke, cancer, heart attacks, tuberculosis, chronic lower respiratory disease, pneumonia, and diseases that occur around childbirth – are tobacco-related diseases.

A related case was filed in Makati in September 2010 by a group of over 160 petitioners led by former Health Secretary and Senator Juan M. Flavier, seeking an affirmation of the validity of AO 2010-0013. This makes a total of six health secretaries supporting the order.

“Filipinos have a right to know. As former health secretaries, it is our moral responsibility to continue to protect public health interest from an industry that fosters disease and death in its regular course of business,” continued Dr. Cabral.

Dr. Angelina Galang, of the Green Convergence for Safe Food, Healthy Environment and Sustainable Economy, was also hopeful. She said, “Because tobacco kills, transparency and truth must involve showing graphically what are likely to happen when this product is used as intended.”

The DOH can enforce AO 2010-0013 and impose administrative sanctions like seizure, recall and condemnation against tobacco manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and importers that are not covered by injunctions issued by any court.

Press Release