By Janess Ann J. Ellao
MANILA – The House of Representatives and the Senate is set to take a recess this week for the Holy Week break. Sessions will resume on May 7. There are speculations that if the impeachment process has been completed by then, the Congress will finally vote on the controversial Reproductive Health Bill.
In a press conference in Quezon City, authors of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Lower House, together with advocates, call on the Congress to pave the way for the “passage of the decade long, pending Reproductive Health bill and make it see the light of day,” the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. said in a statement.
“Women and children are dying unnecessarily with President Benigno S. Aquino III’s failure to deliver much needed health care services to women,” Gabriela Rep. Luz Ilagan said, “Hemorrhage, eclampsia and sepsis infections are easily preventable causes of maternal and infant deaths yet Filipinos continue to suffer and die of these everyday because facilities are inadequate and there are no skilled healthcare professionals for childbirth.”
In January 2012 alone, the Department of Health has documented 50 incidents of maternal deaths in Metro Manila. On March 19, 2012, two new incidents of abandoned babies in Quezon City and in Davao were reported.
In a Philippine Star report, Roddie Santiago, a village officer, said the mother of the newborn baby found in Quezon City probably intended her baby to live because the mother tied it in such a way that you would not mistake it for trash. “The problem is she might not have the sufficient resources to support the needs of the newborn, forcing her to abandon the baby,” the report read.
“What could be more glaring than that? Clearly, we have a problem in reproductive health concerns of mothers, young people, among poor couples particularly,” Ramon San Pascual, executive director of the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation Inc.