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Catanduanes eyes continuous access to sexual, reproductive health services in times of disaster

By Edna Bagadiong

VIRAC, Catanduanes --- The provincial government of Catanduanes has rolled out a program to guarantee access to sexual and reproductive health services for its residents in times of disaster.

Once fully implemented, the program will reduce financial barriers to accessing comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare for thousands of women in Catanduanes as the measure mandates the Provincial Health Office to provide a minimum initial service package (MISP) for sexual and reproductive health (SRH).

Established through Provincial Ordinance 021-2023, the program aims to address the effects of sexual violence, reduce HIV transmission rates, manage maternal and newborn health concerns, and set up comprehensive reproductive health services during emergencies and disasters.

Catanduanes Vice Governor Peter Cua vows support of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to stop sexual violence at the launching of an ordinance on sexual and reproductive health held on December 11, 2023. (Photo courtesy of Catanduanes Provincial Government)

According to Vice Governor Peter Cua, the goal of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan in passing the ordinance was to halt sexual violence and ensure proper care for its victims.

Cua said the ordinance aligns with the provincial agenda that prioritizes health programs and safeguards the populace.

The ordinance also encourages health sectors to create comprehensive reproductive health service programs.

Provincial Health Officer Hazel Palmes urged municipal governments to help implement the plans brought about by the ordinance and ensure its successful implementation.

The program launching was attended by representatives of the Department of Health, Philippine National Police, Department of Justice, Department of Education, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and municipal governments. (PIA5 Catanduanes)


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