reproductive-healthTACLOBAN CITY, Oct. 14 (PNA) — The Commission on Population (PopCom) admitted that there are a lot of challenges in the implementation of Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act.

PopCom Regional Director Elnora Pulma acknowledged the challenges they are facing “since the law’s approval on Jan. 17, 2013 and signing of internal rules and regulation on March 15, 2013, the road to the implementation of the law was not easy.”

Pulma recalled that the law had been a House Bill for nearly three decades and its enactment was like passing through the eye of a needle.

First challenge the agency had to take was the misconception that the law was all about family planning when in truth the law has more area of coverage.

“We need the support of local government units (LGUs) as the primary implementer of the law,” Pulma said.

The official noted that there are skilled health professionals who refuse to provide medically safe reproductive health care within the scope of his or her professional competence, “on the grounds that doing so is against his or her ethical or religious convictions.”

Although these individuals cannot insist to stop the LGUs in the implementation of the law since they are mandated by the law.

Another setback in the implementation of the law was the temporary restraining order on the use of contraceptive implants issued by the Supreme Court.

Pulma emphasized the salient points of the law, which recognizes and guarantee the human rights of all persons including the right to equality and non discrimination of these rights, the right to sustainable human development.

Other features are the right to health, which includes reproductive health, the right to education and information, and the right to choose and make decisions for themselves in accordance with their religious convictions, ethics, cultural beliefs, and the demands of responsible parenthood. (PNA)