fredag 3 augusti 2012

Population and Development - Philippines

2012 will be the key year in the history of reproductive health in the Philippines. Their Parliament is on the verge of adopting the Reproductive Health Bill and in a predominantly Catholic country. Despite the powerful influence of the Catholic Church, there is an evident need and desire for a reproductive health bill and August and September 2012 will be crucial months in achieving this goal.

The Philippines has one of the highest population growth rates in Asia at 1.7% per year. Although this is a decrease from 2.3% per cent in 2007, rapid population growth remains a major impediment to reducing poverty and improving living standards in the Philippines. One of the main concerns of the RH Bill proponents is the perceived lack of access to family planning devices. The Bill intends to provide universal access through government funding, thus complementing private sector initiatives for family planning services. More than 80% of Filipinos are Roman Catholic which is a key figure given that the Catholic Church is the main opponent of adopting the Bill. While the previous Philippine government shied away from actively promoting the use of artificial contraceptives to help stabilise the country's population growth, President Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino – in office since 2010 – has remained steadfast in supporting a reproductive health bill which proposes national funding for - and access to - reproductive healthcare services and products.