Resulta ng Quick Survey Tungkol sa Pasahe sa MRT-3

Magandang araw po! Narito ang resulta ng aming isinagawang quick survey tungkol sa pasahe ng MRT-3. Isinagawa ito bilang bahagi ng pag-aaral tungkol sa mapagkukunan ng Pamahalaan para bayaran na ang mga equity rental payment (ERP) sa Metro Rail Transit Corporation (MRTC), ang pribadong kumpanyang may-ari ng MRT-3. Nakapaloob ang ERPs sa Build-Lease-Transfer Agreement na nilagdaan ng Pamahalaan at ng MRTC. Ang pag-aaral ay kabilang sa mga kailangang ipasa sa Public Administration 142 (Tools for Policy Analysis) sa ilalim ni Dr. Kristoffer Berse sa Pambansang Dalubhasaan ng Pamamahalang Pambayan, Unibersidad ng Pilipinas Diliman.

Kung may mga katanungan po kayo tungkol sa isinagawa naming survey, maaari niyo kaming maabot sa pamamagitan ng pag-comment sa post na ito. Maaari niyo ring tignan ang buod/executive summary ng papel na isinulat namin gamit ang resulta ng survey na ito sa [sipi/link] (nasa wikang Ingles).

Katangian ng mga Tumugon/Demographiya (Demographics)

Apatnapung (40) tao ang sumagot sa aming survey. Convenience sampling ang ginamit para piliiin ang mga sumagot sa survey. Halos lahat sa kanila ay mga mag-aaral. Narito ang tala (hindi ito mutually exclusive, maaaring estudyante at nagtatrabaho rin ang isang tumugon.

1

Karamihan rin sa mga sumagot (halos kalahati) ay mahigit isang beses sa isang araw sumasakay sa MRT-3. Samantala, 26% ang sumagot ng iba pa o mas madalang pa sa isang beses sa isang linggo.

2

Tatlumpu’t siyam na porsyento (39%) ang nagsabing sumasakay sila sa MRT-3 para pumasok sa paaralan. Dalawampung porsyento (20%) naman ang nagsabing sumasakay sila para makuwi ng bahay. Ang mga nagdahilang sumasakay sila para pumasok sa trabaho ay umabot ng 8% samantalang ang nagbigay ng iba pang dahilan ay 33%. Muli, hindi mutually exclusive ang binigay na dahilan ng tumugon para sumakay ng MRT-3.

Higit sa kalahati ng mga tumugon (69%) ang nagsabing gumagamit sila ng stored value ticket (SVT), samantalang 31% ang nagsabing hindi sila gumagamit nito. Sa mga gumagamit ng SVT, 52% sa kanila ang nagsabing umaabot sa siyam (9) na beses ang kanilang biyahe sa isang SVT.

3

Karamihan sa mga tumugon (78%) ang nagsabing galing sa kanilang baon o allowance para sa pamasahe. Labing-walong bahagdan (18%) ang nagsabing galing sa kanilang sweldo ang pamasahe, at 5% ang nagsabing galing sa ibang pinagkukunan ang kanilang pamasahe.

Pinakamarami ang tumugon na mula PhP10,000 hanggang PhP29,999 ang kanilang sweldo o sweldo ng kanilang mga magulang o ng nagpapaaral sa kanila (24%). Pumangalawa ang tumugong aabot ito sa mula PhP30,000 hanggang PhP69,999. Ibinase ang mga kategorya sa income tax schedule na nakapaloob sa Sec. 24 ng RA 8424.

Tungkol sa Taas Pasahe

Sa mga sumagot ng aming survey, 55% ang nagsabing sang-ayon sila sa taas-pasahe, samantalang 45% naman ang tumutol.

Nasa ibaba ang mga dahilang kanilang binigay. (Muli, hindi mutually exclusive ang kanilang tugon.)

Sang-ayon Di sang-ayon
Dahilan % Dahilan %
Para mapaganda ang mga pasilidad at serbisyo 71.43 Dagdag gastos 17.65
Depende sa gamit ng dagdag pasahe 4.76 Hindi sapat ang pera para bayaran ang dagdag pasahe 17.65
Mataas masyado ang subsidiyang galing sa pamahalaan (government subsidy) 4.76 Di naman maganda at kailangang ayusin ang mga pasilidad 17.65
Para tapusin na ang kontrata sa MRTC at kunin na ng pamahalaan ang MRT-3 4.76 Marami sa mga mananakay ang mababa ang sahod 11.76
Walang tugon 14.29 Marami ang maaapektuhan 5.88
Mataas na nga ang kasalukuyang pasahe 5.88
Ito lang ang serbisyong panlipunan na ramdam ang subsidiyang galing sa pamahalaan (government subsidy) 5.88
Pampublikong pangangailangan ang MRT-3 5.88
Para manatiling abot-kaya 5.88
Walang tugon 5.88

Marami sa mga sumang-ayon ang nagdahilang kailangan nang ayusin ang pasilidad ng MRT-3. Binanggit ng ilan sa kanila ang sirang mga tren. Pero tatlong tao ang sumagot na sasang-ayon lang sila kung gagamitin nga sa pagsasaayos ng MRT-3 ang malilikom mula sa dagdag-pasahe.

Samantala, iba-iba ang dahilan ng mga hindi sang-ayon sa dagdag-pasahe. Dahilan rin ng ilang tumugon para sa pagtutol ang hindi magandang sitwasyon ng MRT-3.

Kung sakaling kailangan talagang taasan ang pasahe, pinakamarami ang nagsabing hanggang PhP5 taas-pasahe lang ang tanggap nilang bayaran.

4

(Bahagdan ng mga tumugon ang nasa kaliwa, dagdag-pasahe ang nasa ibaba)

Gayunpaman, halos lahat ng tumugon ay nagsabing sasakay pa rin sila sa MRT-3 kahit sumobra sa hangganan ng tanggap nilang bayaran ang ipinatupad na dagdag-pasahe.

Idinahilan nila na mas mabilis (45%) at maginhawa (21%) pa rin ang MRT-3 kumpara sa ibang paraan ng paglakbay.

Dinagdag ang tanong na “Pabor ba kayo sa buyout ng MRT-3?” nang rebisahin (revise) ang survey form. Dahil dito, 21% lang ng kabuuang bilang ng mga tumugon ang nakasagot sa tanong na ito. Sa mga sumagot sa tanong, 63% ang nagsabing sang-ayon sila sa buyout samantalang  37% ang nagsabing hindi nila alam ang tungkol sa buyout. Sa pamamagitan ng buyout, bibilhin na ng pamahalaan ang MRT-3 mula sa MRTC para itigil na ang equity rental payments at mapunta na sa pamahalaan ang pagmamay-ari sa naturang sistema ng tren.

CASE DIGEST: Imbong v Ochoa, et al. (G.R. Nos. 204819, 204934, 204957, 205003, 205138, 204988, 205043, 205478, 205491, 205720, 206355, 207111, 207172, 207563)

Click here for the full text of the Decision.

Read the RH Law (RA 10354) here.

Read the IRR of the RH Law here.

Read enforcement mechanisms of the RH Law with the unconstitutional provisions stricken out here.

* SUBSTANTIVE ISSUES:

A. On the constitutionality of RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law

1. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to life:

NO. Majority of the Members of the Court believe that the question of when life begins is a scientific and medical issue that should not be decided, at this stage, without proper hearing and evidence. However, they agreed that individual Members could express their own views on this matter.

Ponente’s view (Justice Mendoza): Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution states: “The State recognizes the sanctity of family life and shall protect and strengthen the family as a basic autonomous social institution. It shall equally protect the life of the mother and the life of the unborn from conception.

In its plain and ordinary meaning (a canon in statutory construction), the traditional meaning of “conception” according to reputable dictionaries cited by the ponente is that life begins at fertilization. Medical sources also support the view that conception begins at fertilization.

The framers of the Constitution also intended for (a) “conception” to refer to the moment of “fertilization” and (b) the protection of the unborn child upon fertilization. In addition, they did not intend to ban all contraceptives for being unconstitutional; only those that kill or destroy the fertilized ovum would be prohibited. Contraceptives that actually prevent the union of the male sperm and female ovum, and those that similarly take action before fertilization should be deemed non-abortive, and thus constitutionally permissible.

The intent of the framers of the Constitution for protecting the life of the unborn child was to prevent the Legislature from passing a measure prevent abortion. The Court cannot interpret this otherwise. The RH Law is in line with this intent and actually prohibits abortion. By using the word “or” in defining abortifacient (Section 4(a)), the RH Law prohibits not only drugs or devices that prevent implantation but also those that induce abortion and induce the destruction of a fetus inside the mother’s womb. The RH Law recognizes that the fertilized ovum already has life and that the State has a bounded duty to protect it.

However, the authors of the IRR gravely abused their office when they redefined the meaning of abortifacient by using the term “primarily”. Recognizing as abortifacients only those that “primarily induce abortion or the destruction of a fetus inside the mother’s womb or the prevention of the fertilized ovum to reach and be implanted in the mother’s womb” (Sec. 3.01(a) of the IRR) would pave the way for the approval of contraceptives that may harm or destroy the life of the unborn from conception/fertilization. This violates Section 12, Article II of the Constitution. For the same reason, the definition of contraceptives under the IRR (Sec 3.01(j)), which also uses the term “primarily”, must be struck down.

2. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to health

NO. Petitioners claim that the right to health is violated by the RH Law because it requires the inclusion of hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective family planning products and supplies in the National Drug Formulary and in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national hospitals (Section 9 of the RH Law). They cite risks of getting diseases gained by using e.g. oral contraceptive pills.

Some petitioners do not question contraception and contraceptives per se. Rather, they pray that the status quo under RA 4729 and 5921 be maintained. These laws prohibit the sale and distribution of contraceptives without the prescription of a duly-licensed physician.

The RH Law does not intend to do away with RA 4729 (1966). With RA 4729 in place, the Court believes adequate safeguards exist to ensure that only safe contraceptives are made available to the public. In fulfilling its mandate under Sec. 10 of the RH Law, the DOH must keep in mind the provisions of RA 4729: the contraceptives it will procure shall be from a duly licensed drug store or pharmaceutical company and that the actual distribution of these contraceptive drugs and devices will be done following a prescription of a qualified medical practitioner.

Meanwhile, the requirement of Section 9 of the RH Law is to be considered “mandatory” only after these devices and materials have been tested, evaluated and approved by the FDA. Congress cannot determine that contraceptives are “safe, legal, non-abortificient and effective”.

3. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the freedom of religion and right to free speech 

The Court cannot determine whether or not the use of contraceptives or participation in support of modern RH measures (a) is moral from a religious standpoint; or, (b) right or wrong according to one’s dogma or belief. However, the Court has the authority to determine whether or not the RH Law contravenes the Constitutional guarantee of religious freedom.

a.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom since it mandates the State-sponsored procurement of contraceptives, which contravene the religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners

NO. The State may pursue its legitimate secular objectives without being dictated upon the policies of any one religion. To allow religious sects to dictate policy or restrict other groups would violate Article III, Section 5 of the Constitution or the Establishment Clause. This would cause the State to adhere to a particular religion, and thus, establishes a state religion. Thus, the State can enhance its population control program through the RH Law even if the promotion of contraceptive use is contrary to the religious beliefs of e.g. the petitioners.

b.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom by compelling medical health practitioners, hospitals, and health care providers, under pain of penalty, to refer patients to other institutions despite their conscientious objections

YES. Sections 7, 23, and 24 of the RH Law obliges a hospital or medical practitioner to immediately refer a person seeking health care and services under the law to another accessible healthcare provider despite their conscientious objections based on religious or ethical beliefs. These provisions violate the religious belief and conviction of a conscientious objector. They are contrary to Section 29(2), Article VI of the Constitution or the Free Exercise Clause, whose basis is the respect for the inviolability of the human conscience.

The provisions in the RH Law compelling non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group and health care service providers to refer patients to other providers and penalizing them if they fail to do so (Sections 7 and 23(a)(3)) as well as compelling them to disseminate information and perform RH procedures under pain of penalty (Sections 23(a)(1) and (a)(2) in relation to Section 24) also violate (and inhibit) the freedom of religion. While penalties may be imposed by law to ensure compliance to it, a constitutionally-protected right must prevail over the effective implementation of the law. 

Excluding public health officers from being conscientious objectors (under Sec. 5.24 of the IRR) also violates the equal protection clause. There is no perceptible distinction between public health officers and their private counterparts. In addition, the freedom to believe is intrinsic in every individual and the protection of this freedom remains even if he/she is employed in the government.

Using the compelling state interest test, there is no compelling state interest to limit the free exercise of conscientious objectors. There is no immediate danger to the life or health of an individual in the perceived scenario of the above-quoted provisions. In addition, the limits do not pertain to life-threatening cases.

The respondents also failed to show that these provisions are least intrusive means to achieve a legitimate state objective. The Legislature has already taken other secular steps to ensure that the right to health is protected, such as RA 4729, RA 6365 (The Population Act of the Philippines) and RA 9710 (The Magna Carta of Women).

c.) WON the RH Law violates the guarantee of religious freedom by requiring would-be spouses, as a condition for the issuance of a marriage license, to attend a seminar on parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition

NO. Section 15 of the RH Law, which requires would-be spouses to attend a seminar on parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition as a condition for the issuance of a marriage license, is a reasonable exercise of police power by the government. The law does not even mandate the type of family planning methods to be included in the seminar. Those who attend the seminar are free to accept or reject information they receive and they retain the freedom to decide on matters of family life without the intervention of the State.

4. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the right to privacy (marital privacy and autonomy)

YES. Section 23(a)(2)(i) of the RH Law, which permits RH procedures even with only the consent of the spouse undergoing the provision (disregarding spousal content), intrudes into martial privacy and autonomy and goes against the constitutional safeguards for the family as the basic social institution. Particularly, Section 3, Article XV of the Constitution mandates the State to defend: (a) the right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood and (b) the right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of policies and programs that affect them. The RH Law cannot infringe upon this mutual decision-making, and endanger the institutions of marriage and the family.

The exclusion of parental consent in cases where a minor undergoing a procedure is already a parent or has had a miscarriage (Section 7 of the RH Law) is also anti-family and violates Article II, Section 12 of the Constitution, which states: “The natural and primary right and duty of parents in the rearing of the youth for civic efficiency and the development of moral character shall receive the support of the Government.” In addition, the portion of Section 23(a)(ii) which reads “in the case of minors, the written consent of parents or legal guardian or, in their absence, persons exercising parental authority or next-of-kin shall be required only in elective surgical procedures” is invalid as it denies the right of parental authority in cases where what is involved is “non-surgical procedures.”

However, a minor may receive information (as opposed to procedures) about family planning services. Parents are not deprived of parental guidance and control over their minor child in this situation and may assist her in deciding whether to accept or reject the information received. In addition, an exception may be made in life-threatening procedures.

5. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the freedom of expression and academic freedom

NO. The Court declined to rule on the constitutionality of Section 14 of the RH Law, which mandates the State to provide Age-and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. Although educators might raise their objection to their participation in the RH education program, the Court reserves its judgment should an actual case be filed before it.

Any attack on its constitutionality is premature because the Department of Education has not yet formulated a curriculum on age-appropriate reproductive health education.

Section 12, Article II of the Constitution places more importance on the role of parents in the development of their children with the use of the term “primary”. The right of parents in upbringing their youth is superior to that of the State.

The provisions of Section 14 of the RH Law and corresponding provisions of the IRR supplement (rather than supplant) the right and duties of the parents in the moral development of their children.

By incorporating parent-teacher-community associations, school officials, and other interest groups in developing the mandatory RH program, it could very well be said that the program will be in line with the religious beliefs of the petitioners.

6. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the due process clause

NO. The RH Law does not violate the due process clause of the Constitution as the definitions of several terms as observed by the petitioners are not vague.

The definition of “private health care service provider” must be seen in relation to Section 4(n) of the RH Law which defines a “public health service provider”. The “private health care institution” cited under Section 7 should be seen as synonymous to “private health care service provider.”

The terms “service” and “methods” are also broad enough to include providing of information and rendering of medical procedures. Thus, hospitals operated by religious groups are exempted from rendering RH service and modern family planning methods (as provided for by Section 7 of the RH Law) as well as from giving RH information and procedures.

The RH Law also defines “incorrect information”. Used together in relation to Section 23 (a)(1), the terms “incorrect” and “knowingly” connote a sense of malice and ill motive to mislead or misrepresent the public as to the nature and effect of programs and services on reproductive health.

7. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the equal protection clause

NO. To provide that the poor are to be given priority in the government’s RH program is not a violation of the equal protection clause. In fact, it is pursuant to Section 11, Article XIII of the Constitution, which states that the State shall prioritize the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children and that it shall endeavor to provide medical care to paupers.

The RH Law does not only seek to target the poor to reduce their number, since Section 7 of the RH Law prioritizes poor and marginalized couples who are suffering from fertility issues and desire to have children. In addition, the RH Law does not prescribe the number of children a couple may have and does not impose conditions upon couples who intend to have children. The RH Law only seeks to provide priority to the poor.

The exclusion of private educational institutions from the mandatory RH education program under Section 14 is valid. There is a need to recognize the academic freedom of private educational institutions especially with respect to religious instruction and to consider their sensitivity towards the teaching of reproductive health education.

8. Whether or not (WON) RA 10354/Reproductive Health (RH) Law is unconstitutional for violating the prohibition against involuntary servitude

NO. The requirement under Sec. 17 of the RH Law for private and non-government health care service providers to render 48 hours of pro bono RH services does not amount to involuntary servitude, for two reasons. First, the practice of medicine is undeniably imbued with public interest that it is both the power and a duty of the State to control and regulate it in order to protect and promote the public welfare. Second, Section 17 only encourages private and non-government RH service providers to render pro bono service. Besides the PhilHealth accreditation, no penalty is imposed should they do otherwise.

However, conscientious objectors are exempt from Sec. 17 as long as their religious beliefs do not allow them to render RH service, pro bono or otherwise (See Part 3b of this digest.)

B. WON the delegation of authority to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to determine WON a supply or product is to be included in the Essential Drugs List is valid

NO. The delegation by Congress to the FDA of the power to determine whether or not a supply or product is to be included in the Essential Drugs List is valid, as the FDA not only has the power but also the competency to evaluate, register and cover health services and methods (under RA 3720 as amended by RA 9711 or the FDA Act of 2009).

C. WON the RH Law infringes upon the powers devolved to Local Governments and the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM)

NO. The RH Law does not infringe upon the autonomy of local governments. Paragraph (c) of Section 17 provides a categorical exception of cases involving nationally-funded projects, facilities, programs and services. Unless a local government unit (LGU) is particularly designated as the implementing agency, it has no power over a program for which funding has been provided by the national government under the annual general appropriations act, even if the program involves the delivery of basic services within the jurisdiction of the LGU.

In addition, LGUs are merely encouraged to provide RH services. Provision of these services are not mandatory. Therefore, the RH Law does not amount to an undue encroachment by the national government upon the autonomy enjoyed by LGUs.

Article III, Sections 6, 10, and 11 of RA 9054 or the Organic Act of the ARMM merely delineates the powers that may be exercised by the regional government. These provisions cannot be seen as an abdication by the State of its power to enact legislation that would benefit the general welfare.

What’s left of the RH law?

We know the provisions stricken down by the Supreme Court in its ruling on Republic Act No. 10354 (or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012) for being unconstitutional (press statement at the top of this page). Let us look instead at the provisions that remain, specifically those to implement the legislative policy. Only time will tell whether these would be sufficient to implement the law.

Provisions declared by the Supreme Court as unconstitutional are stricken out. Feel free to point out any errors by commenting on this post. (Text below is taken from here)

SEC. 5. Hiring of Skilled Health Professionals for Maternal Health Care and Skilled Birth Attendance. – The LGUs shall endeavor to hire an adequate number of nurses, midwives and other skilled health professionals for maternal health care and skilled birth attendance to achieve an ideal skilled health professional-to-patient ratio taking into consideration DOH targets: Provided, That people in geographically isolated or highly populated and depressed areas shall be provided the same level of access to health care: Provided, further, That the national government shall provide additional and necessary funding and other necessary assistance for the effective implementation of this provision.

For the purposes of this Act, midwives and nurses shall be allowed to administer lifesaving drugs such as, but not limited to, oxytocin and magnesium sulfate, in accordance with the guidelines set by the DOH, under emergency conditions and when there are no physicians available: Provided, That they are properly trained and certified to administer these lifesaving drugs.

SEC. 6. Health Care Facilities. – Each LGU, upon its determination of the necessity based on well-supported data provided by its local health office shall endeavor to establish or upgrade hospitals and facilities with adequate and qualified personnel, equipment and supplies to be able to provide emergency obstetric and newborn care: Provided, That people in geographically isolated or highly populated and depressed areas shall have the same level of access and shall not be neglected by providing other means such as home visits or mobile health care clinics as needed:Provided, further, That the national government shall provide additional and necessary funding and other necessary assistance for the effective implementation of this provision.

SEC. 7. Access to Family Planning. – All accredited public health facilities shall provide a full range of modern family planning methods, which shall also include medical consultations, supplies and necessary and reasonable procedures for poor and marginalized couples having infertility issues who desire to have children: Provided, That family planning services shall likewise be extended by private health facilities to paying patients with the option to grant free care and services to indigents, except in the case of non-maternity specialty hospitals and hospitals owned and operated by a religious group, but they have the option to provide such full range of modern family planning methods: Provided, further, That these hospitals shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health facility which is conveniently accessible: Provided, finally, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344.

No person shall be denied information and access to family planning services, whether natural or artificial: Provided, That minors will not be allowed access to modern methods of family planning without written consent from their parents or guardian/s except when the minor is already a parent or has had a miscarriage.

SEC. 8. Maternal Death Review and Fetal and Infant Death Review. – All LGUs, national and local government hospitals, and other public health units shall conduct an annual Maternal Death Review and Fetal and Infant Death Review in accordance with the guidelines set by the DOH. Such review should result in an evidence-based programming and budgeting process that would contribute to the development of more responsive reproductive health services to promote women’s health and safe motherhood.

SEC. 9. The Philippine National Drug Formulary System and Family Planning Supplies. – The National Drug Formulary shall include hormonal contraceptives, intrauterine devices, injectables and other safe, legal, non-abortifacient and effective family planning products and supplies. The Philippine National Drug Formulary System (PNDFS) shall be observed in selecting drugs including family planning supplies that will be included or removed from the Essential Drugs List (EDL) in accordance with existing practice and in consultation with reputable medical associations in the Philippines. For the purpose of this Act, any product or supply included or to be included in the EDL must have a certification from the FDA that said product and supply is made available on the condition that it is not to be used as an abortifacient.

These products and supplies shall also be included in the regular purchase of essential medicines and supplies of all national hospitals: Provided, further, That the foregoing offices shall not purchase or acquire by any means emergency contraceptive pills, postcoital pills, abortifacients that will be used for such purpose and their other forms or equivalent.

SEC. 10. Procurement and Distribution of Family Planning Supplies. – The DOH shall procure, distribute to LGUs and monitor the usage of family planning supplies for the whole country. The DOH shall coordinate with all appropriate local government bodies to plan and implement this procurement and distribution program. The supply and budget allotments shall be based on, among others, the current levels and projections of the following:

(a) Number of women of reproductive age and couples who want to space or limit their children;

(b) Contraceptive prevalence rate, by type of method used; and

(c) Cost of family planning supplies.

Provided, That LGUs may implement its own procurement, distribution and monitoring program consistent with the overall provisions of this Act and the guidelines of the DOH.

SEC. 11. Integration of Responsible Parenthood and Family Planning Component in Anti-Poverty Programs. – A multidimensional approach shall be adopted in the implementation of policies and programs to fight poverty. Towards this end, the DOH shall implement programs prioritizing full access of poor and marginalized women as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization to reproductive health care, services, products and programs. The DOH shall provide such programs, technical support, including capacity building and monitoring.

SEC. 12. PhilHealth Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions. – All serious and life-threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers, and obstetric complications, and menopausal and post-menopausal-related conditions shall be given the maximum benefits, including the provision of Anti-Retroviral Medicines (ARVs), as provided in the guidelines set by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC).

SEC. 13. Mobile Health Care Service. – The national or the local government may provide each provincial, city, municipal and district hospital with a Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to its terrain, taking into consideration the health care needs of each LGU. The MHCS shall deliver health care goods and services to its constituents, more particularly to the poor and needy, as well as disseminate knowledge and information on reproductive health. The MHCS shall be operated by skilled health providers and adequately equipped with a wide range of health care materials and information dissemination devices and equipment, the latter including, but not limited to, a television set for audio-visual presentations. All MHCS shall be operated by LGUs of provinces and highly urbanized cities.

SEC. 14. Age- and Development-Appropriate Reproductive Health Education. – The State shall provide age- and development-appropriate reproductive health education to adolescents which shall be taught by adequately trained teachers informal and nonformal educational system and integrated in relevant subjects such as, but not limited to, values formation; knowledge and skills in self-protection against discrimination; sexual abuse and violence against women and children and other forms of gender based violence and teen pregnancy; physical, social and emotional changes in adolescents; women’s rights and children’s rights; responsible teenage behavior; gender and development; and responsible parenthood: Provided, That flexibility in the formulation and adoption of appropriate course content, scope and methodology in each educational level or group shall be allowed only after consultations with parents-teachers-community associations, school officials and other interest groups. The Department of Education (DepED) shall formulate a curriculum which shall be used by public schools and may be adopted by private schools.

SEC. 15. Certificate of Compliance. – No marriage license shall be issued by the Local Civil Registrar unless the applicants present a Certificate of Compliance issued for free by the local Family Planning Office certifying that they had duly received adequate instructions and information on responsible parenthood, family planning, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.

SEC. 16. Capacity Building of Barangay Health Workers (BHWs). – The DOH shall be responsible for disseminating information and providing training programs to the LGUs. The LGUs, with the technical assistance of the DOH, shall be responsible for the training of BHWs and other barangay volunteers on the promotion of reproductive health. The DOH shall provide the LGUs with medical supplies and equipment needed by BHWs to carry out their functions effectively: Provided, further, That the national government shall provide additional and necessary funding and other necessary assistance for the effective implementation of this provision including the possible provision of additional honoraria for BHWs.

SEC. 17. Pro Bono Services for Indigent Women. – Private and nongovernment reproductive healthcare service providers including, but not limited to, gynecologists and obstetricians, are encouraged to provide at least forty-eight (48) hours annually of reproductive health services, ranging from providing information and education to rendering medical services, free of charge to indigent and low-income patients as identified through the NHTS-PR and other government measures of identifying marginalization, especially to pregnant adolescents. The forty-eight (48) hours annual pro bono services shall be included as a prerequisite in the accreditation under the PhilHealth.

SEC. 18. Sexual and Reproductive Health Programs for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). – The cities and municipalities shall endeavor that barriers to reproductive health services for PWDs are obliterated by the following:

(a) Providing physical access, and resolving transportation and proximity issues to clinics, hospitals and places where public health education is provided, contraceptives are sold or distributed or other places where reproductive health services are provided;

(b) Adapting examination tables and other laboratory procedures to the needs and conditions of PWDs;

(c) Increasing access to information and communication materials on sexual and reproductive health in braille, large print, simple language, sign language and pictures;

(d) Providing continuing education and inclusion of rights of PWDs among health care providers; and

(e) Undertaking activities to raise awareness and address misconceptions among the general public on the stigma and their lack of knowledge on the sexual and reproductive health needs and rights of PWDs.

SEC. 19. Duties and Responsibilities. – (a) Pursuant to the herein declared policy, the DOH shall serve as the lead agency for the implementation of this Act and shall integrate in their regular operations the following functions:

(1) Fully and efficiently implement the reproductive health care program;

(2) Ensure people’s access to medically safe, non-abortifacient, legal, quality and affordable reproductive health goods and services; and

(3) Perform such other functions necessary to attain the purposes of this Act.

(b) The DOH, in coordination with the PHIC, as may be applicable, shall:

(1) Strengthen the capacities of health regulatory agencies to ensure safe, high quality, accessible and affordable reproductive health services and commodities with the concurrent strengthening and enforcement of regulatory mandates and mechanisms;

(2) Facilitate the involvement and participation of NGOs and the private sector in reproductive health care service delivery and in the production, distribution and delivery of quality reproductive health and family planning supplies and commodities to make them accessible and affordable to ordinary citizens;

(3) Engage the services, skills and proficiencies of experts in natural family planning who shall provide the necessary training for all BHWs;

(4) Supervise and provide assistance to LGUs in the delivery of reproductive health care services and in the purchase of family planning goods and supplies; and

(5) Furnish LGUs, through their respective local health offices, appropriate information and resources to keep the latter updated on current studies and researches relating to family planning, responsible parenthood, breastfeeding and infant nutrition.

(c) The FDA shall issue strict guidelines with respect to the use of contraceptives, taking into consideration the side effects or other harmful effects of their use.

(d) Corporate citizens shall exercise prudence in advertising its products or services through all forms of media, especially on matters relating to sexuality, further taking into consideration its influence on children and the youth.

SEC. 20. Public Awareness. – The DOH and the LGUs shall initiate and sustain a heightened nationwide multimedia-campaign to raise the level of public awareness on the protection and promotion of reproductive health and rights including, but not limited to, maternal health and nutrition, family planning and responsible parenthood information and services, adolescent and youth reproductive health, guidance and counseling and other elements of reproductive health care under Section 4(q).

Education and information materials to be developed and disseminated for this purpose shall be reviewed regularly to ensure their effectiveness and relevance.

SEC. 21. Reporting Requirements. – Before the end of April each year, the DOH shall submit to the President of the Philippines and Congress an annual consolidated report, which shall provide a definitive and comprehensive assessment of the implementation of its programs and those of other government agencies and instrumentalities and recommend priorities for executive and legislative actions. The report shall be printed and distributed to all national agencies, the LGUs, NGOs and private sector organizations involved in said programs.

The annual report shall evaluate the content, implementation, and impact of all policies related to reproductive health and family planning to ensure that such policies promote, protect and fulfill women’s reproductive health and rights.

SEC. 22. Congressional Oversight Committee on Reproductive Health Act. – There is hereby created a Congressional Oversight Committee (COC) composed of five (5) members each from the Senate and the House of Representatives. The members from the Senate and the House of Representatives shall be appointed by the Senate President and the Speaker, respectively, with at least one (1) member representing the Minority.

The COC shall be headed by the respective Chairs of the Committee on Health and Demography of the Senate and the Committee on Population and Family Relations of the House of Representatives. The Secretariat of the COC shall come from the existing Secretariat personnel of the Senate and the House of Representatives committees concerned.

The COC shall monitor and ensure the effective implementation of this Act, recommend the necessary remedial legislation or administrative measures, and shall conduct a review of this Act every five (5) years from its effectivity. The COC shall perform such other duties and functions as may be necessary to attain the objectives of this Act.

SEC. 23. Prohibited Acts. – The following acts are prohibited:

(a) Any health care service provider, whether public or private, who shall:

(1) Knowingly withhold information or restrict the dissemination thereof, and/or intentionally provide incorrect information regarding programs and services on reproductive health including the right to informed choice and access to a full range of legal, medically-safe, non-abortifacient and effective family planning methods;

(2) Refuse to perform legal and medically-safe reproductive health procedures on any person of legal age on the ground of lack of consent or authorization of the following persons in the following instances:

(i) Spousal consent in case of married persons: Provided, That in case of disagreement, the decision of the one undergoing the procedure shall prevail; and

(ii) Parental consent or that of the person exercising parental authority in the case of abused minors, where the parent or the person exercising parental authority is the respondent, accused or convicted perpetrator as certified by the proper prosecutorial office of the court. In the case of minors, the written consent of parents or legal guardian or, in their absence, persons exercising parental authority or next-of-kin shall be required only in elective surgical procedures and in no case shall consent be required in emergency or serious cases as defined in Republic Act No. 8344; and

(3) Refuse to extend quality health care services and information on account of the person’s marital status, gender, age, religious convictions, personal circumstances, or nature of work: Provided, That the conscientious objection of a health care service provider based on his/her ethical or religious beliefs shall be respected; however, the conscientious objector shall immediately refer the person seeking such care and services to another health care service provider within the same facility or one which is conveniently accessible: Provided, further, That the person is not in an emergency condition or serious case as defined in Republic Act No. 8344, which penalizes the refusal of hospitals and medical clinics to administer appropriate initial medical treatment and support in emergency and serious cases;

(b) Any public officer, elected or appointed, specifically charged with the duty to implement the provisions hereof, who, personally or through a subordinate, prohibits or restricts the delivery of legal and medically-safe reproductive health care services, including family planning; or forces, coerces or induces any person to use such services; or refuses to allocate, approve or release any budget for reproductive health care services, or to support reproductive health programs; or shall do any act that hinders the full implementation of a reproductive health program as mandated by this Act;

(c) Any employer who shall suggest, require, unduly influence or cause any applicant for employment or an employee to submit himself/herself to sterilization, use any modern methods of family planning, or not use such methods as a condition for employment, continued employment, promotion or the provision of employment benefits. Further, pregnancy or the number of children shall not be a ground for non-hiring or termination from employment;

(d) Any person who shall falsify a Certificate of Compliance as required in Section 15 of this Act; and

(e) Any pharmaceutical company, whether domestic or multinational, or its agents or distributors, which directly or indirectly colludes with government officials, whether appointed or elected, in the distribution, procurement and/or sale by the national government and LGUs of modern family planning supplies, products and devices.

SEC. 24. Penalties. – Any violation of this Act or commission of the foregoing prohibited acts shall be penalized by imprisonment ranging from one (1) month to six (6) months or a fine of Ten thousand pesos (P10,000.00) to One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the competent court: Provided, That, if the offender is a public officer, elected or appointed, he/she shall also suffer the penalty of suspension not exceeding one (1) year or removal and forfeiture of retirement benefits depending on the gravity of the offense after due notice and hearing by the appropriate body or agency.

If the offender is a juridical person, the penalty shall be imposed upon the president or any responsible officer. An offender who is an alien shall, after service of sentence, be deported immediately without further proceedings by the Bureau of Immigration. If the offender is a pharmaceutical company, its agent and/or distributor, their license or permit to operate or conduct business in the Philippines shall be perpetually revoked, and a fine triple the amount involved in the violation shall be imposed.