HC approves bill allowing minors to avail contraceptives
By Cyryl L. Montales
LEGAZPI CITY, ALBAY --- Modern contraceptives will be accessible to teenagers ages 10 to 14 after the House Committee on Youth and Sports Development approved the proposed House Bill No. 79, also known as ‘’Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Act’’ by Albay 1st District Rep. Edcel C. Lagman on Feb 2, Thursday.
‘’Young people have the right to lead healthy lives and the means to protect their health and safeguard their future. These include access to reproductive health information, services and commodities,’’Cong. Lagman said.
Cong. Lagman noted that through the bill, Filipino adolescents can now access contraceptives without the need to seek for parental consent.
Highlighting that it will benefit the state since,’’1) adolescent pregnancy from ages 10-14 has become a national social emergency; 2)adolescent pregnancy and childbirth account for highest rate of maternal mortality 3) early childbearing is a leading factor in intergenerational poverty and 4) mistaken notion that access to contraceptives will lead to adolescent promiscuity,’’ Lagman cited.
‘’Access to contraceptives by adolescents will complement the mandatory reproductive health and sex education provided in RA. No 10354 or the responsible parenthood and Reproductive Health (RH) law which was enacted in 2012,’’ Lagman added.
Along with the six (6) other similar bills, the house committee on Youth and Sports Development chaired by Rep. Faustino Michael Dy III approved the house bill authored by Reps. Juan Fidel Felipe F. Nograles, Charisse Anne C. Hernandez, Stephen James Tan, Patrick Micheal D. Vargas, Francisco Paolo Ortega, and Raoul A. Manuel.
A substitute bill is currently on the works for assimilation of all approved measures on adolescent pregnancy prevention and incorporation of amendments.
Lagman announced that the access to reproductive health services shall be available to ages 18 below without the consent of a legal guardian.
The same is true with young individuals below ages 15 that begun childbearing, experienced sexual abuse, miscarriage or are sexually active should freely access RH services.
If mentally incapacitated, the parent shall provide their consent.
‘’In some cases when the guardian is unreachable or refuses to provide their consent, it shall be obtained from a duly licensed healthcare service provider,’’Lagman said under the HB 79 conditions. (PIA5/Albay/With the report from Ann Jubelle F. De Vera, BU intern)