Sunday, August 5, 2012

Stop The Debates: Pass The Freakin' RH Bill >:(

The past few days, there has been so much debate on the Philippine Reproductive Health (RH) Bill both in mainstream and social media due to the fact that this week Congress will be voting on it.  For the record, I am an Anti-RH Bill advocate, BUT I realized that the only way to conclude this never ending debate that is not doing this country any good, is to PASS THAT FREAKIN' BILL! 

Before I explain my paradigm shift, the following are the specific reasons why I am against HB 4244, the Consolidated RH Bill.

1. The very real health risks to women of oral contraceptives, injectables and other contraceptive methods that is evidence-based and belies it's safety. These have been proven as the cause of some cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, peripheral arterial disease, bone disease, fertility problems etc. Contraceptive methods like ligation, IUD's and even vasectomy has led to complications like ectopic pregnancies, pelvic inflammatory diseases, STD's and abortions (IUD).

2. The huge amount of budget needed to implement this in it's initial phase (to the tune of almost 14 billion pesos) is mind-boggling, it is money that can well be spent to address the problem of poverty, homelessness and hunger in the country.  Maybe it would not be too much to ask if this can instead be used to implement a much needed Universal Health Care System together with a community based primary health care system.

3. The veiled threats and subtle bullying of international agencies and organizations (who incidentally funds many of our health programs) that want this bill passed. Who is this bill really for anyway?

4. The inability of the Philippine government to implement laws and policy. Consider only some of these poorly implemented laws which have all been in effect for years:  Generics Act, Anti-Smoking Law, Anti-trafficking in Person Act of 2003, Optical Media Act of 2003, Ecological Solid Waste Act of the Philippines, Philippine Clean Air Act of 1999National Blood Services Act of 1994, and most especially, the National Health Insurance Act of 1995 which up to this very day has not fulfilled its mandate of providing health insurance coverage and ensure affordable, acceptable, available and accessible health care services for all citizens of the Philippines.

5. The failure of DoH to efficiently and effectively implement their existing health policies and programs on family planning, maternal and child health, adolescent, why should this "new" health law be any different?

6. The fragmented state of our health system due to the devolution of health services to the LGU's will make this law if passed, just another "output" of the 15th Congress.  The implementation of this law and its outcome will again be dependent on each LGU's political agenda and priorities, as well open to corruption and conflict of interests by people and agencies involved.

And so, considering all these things, why do I now want the RH Bill passed? Isn't that being contradictory? I am a traditional Catholic and I agree with the Church's stand on birth and population control. I do not fault the Church for it's active campaign and their moral admonitions.  It is as should be.

But, reading all the pros and cons in the discussions and debates, and thinking about my own personal stand and concerns, I have come to the conclusion that we who oppose this bill (for whatever reason) should just take the bull by it's horns.  So I say to the pro-RH advocates, "bring it on" because the only way to prove who is right or wrong is to have this bill passed, and then and only then, can either side finally say..."I told you so".

God help us all.

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