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QC Passes Landmark Ordinance on Reproductive Health and Population Management

 

Quezon City Passes Landmark Ordinance on Reproductive Health and Population Management

In time for the women’s month of March, the “Quezon City Population and Reproductive Health Management Policy,” popularly referred to as the QC RH Ordinance, authored and proposed by Councilor Joseph Juico (Quezon City, 1st District), was overwhelmingly passed by the QC Council and then signed by QC Mayor Feliciano Belmonte, Jr. on March 3, 2008.

Drawing popular support from QC residents, women advocates, such as the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) of which SALIGAN is a member, and particular religious groups, the new ordinance promises increased promotion of women’s rights.  It institutionalizes a comprehensive program of reproductive health and services by the QC Government.  Among others, the QC RH Ordinance provides the following:

1.        Development of the family through responsible parenthood;

2.        The right of spouses to found a family in accordance with their religious convictions and the demands of responsible parenthood;

3.        The right of families or family associations to participate in the planning and implementation of relevant policies and programs;

4.        Non-inclusion of abortion among the natural and artificial methods of family planning; and

5.        Mandatory Adolescent Health Education in public high schools and its optional implementation in private schools.

Quezon City being the largest city in Metro Manila and Luzon, and the most populous in the Philippines, the passage of such a law here will surely have an immense impact on the trend of policies regarding reproductive health and rights not only in nearby or similarly-situated local governments, but all over the country as well. The passage of the Ordinance is truly an attestation to the power of persistence and unity, a recognition and affirmation of the ability of individuals and like-minded groups to participate in governance in a very real way.