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Philippine Policy Environment and its role in achieving MDGs 4 and 5

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Atty. Elizabeth A. Pagalangan, a Professor of the U.P. College of Law enumerated 5 rights to achieve the MDGs 4 and 5 and these are the Right to Life, Right to Health, Right to Education, Right to Equality and Non-Discrimination, Right to Found a Family. She also discussed RA 9710 or the Magna Carta of Women and RA 6365, the Separation of the Church and the State.

She also discussed the RH Policy vis-a-vis the Millennium Development Goals like the Universal Access to RH services, that the Department of Education should offer age-appropriate sex education in all schools, that the Department of Health must ensure that all government hospitals to provide free Family Planning information and services. She also shared to the group that according to Representative Romano, the government will release 8.2 billion pesos for health care, and out of this amount, 5.7 billion pesos will be for the 1,278 BEMOC and Newborn Care Facilities.

Ms. Rina Jimenez-David, a Columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and an advocate of women’s rights extensively discussed why the Millennium Development Goals matter, because, according to her, the MDGs have time-bound goals and commitments, and could serve and provide as a handy report card on the performance of local and national officials. The MDGs could also serve as a reference for most difficult development goals and could serve s development benchmark for nations.

She emphasized that the health and survival of mothers and children as intertwined and  are not competing.

Ms. David laid down the media’s role to help achieve the MDGs. To always ask why mothers and babies continue to die unnecessary, to bring the crisis in Maternal and Child Health Mortality to the level of emergency, to explore link between Maternal Health and Family Planning.

Mr. Nicolas Taylor, Head of Operations Section of the European Commission Called for Media Participation in achieving the MDGs. Mr. Taylor said the EU Commission considers MCH and Newborn Health as  a serious matter and the areas of support that the EU is extending in on the health sector, especially on Maternal Health and the eradication of poverty.

The mission of the EU assistance is protecting women and the time of action is now and they are seeking the help of the Philippine media to bring to the attention of the Philippine Government and the Filipino people the issues raised in this 1st Women Deliver Philippines Conference. To provide awareness that health care is human right, and to improve the health seeking behaviour of the populace, and to rely on accurate reporting that 11 deaths is unacceptable, and that 71% of Maternal deaths could be prevented.

The infant and Neonatal Deaths in the Philippines is in the critical level with 52,000 babies dying before celebrating their 1st birthday, and this number could be reduced. Mr. Taylor emphasized that the EU support is for the Health Sector Reform.

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