Saturday, April 2, 2011

Buyers Beware: RH Bill P3 Billion
















While the rest of the nation is busy taking sides in the debate between the individual's right to choose versus the Catholic Church's stand against artificial birth control, the House of Representatives is moving closer to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. After reading  The Consolidated RH Bill, I gather that discussions should be more in the practical sense. Let the buyer beware.

Before anything else, allow me to put some things on the table:
  • The Catholic Church has done nothing but respect and protect God's gift of life to every human being, born and unborn. 
  • On the other side, the Philippine government continues to be viewed as having a serious corruption problem. On a scale of  01 to 10, with 10 being the worst, the country garnered a score of  8.9, poorer than 8.25 in 2010, as reported by Political & Economic Risk Consultancy, Ltd in Hong Kong. (ABS-CBNnews.com)
  • There are more pressing problems in the country today. Just look around you.
  • UN Resident Coordinator Dr. Jacqueline Badcock said the UN provides support to programs of the Philippine government but will not include providing contraceptives. (PhilStar)
  • There are several articles written in the Journal of American Medical Association on the harmful side effects of contraceptives, some of them leading to cancer and death.

      Now that we are all in the same page, let us get down to brass tacks. Have you read the RH Bill?  I did, and some sections glared at me while reading it.

      Sec. 6, Emergency Obstetric Care, states in part: For every 500,000 population, there shall be at least one (1) hospital with comprehensive emergency obstetric care and four (4) hospitals or other health facilities with basic emergency obstetric care.

      Now, try clicking this - Google Books. Did you notice the hospital figures on the right hand page of the book? I understand that this is the "acceptable minimum level" as written in a foreign context. However, are we talking about a "one size fits all"  legislation?  Should our intelligent members of Congress conduct their own study and come up with a Filipino version of what is acceptable?  In my previous post, A Troubling Health Care Issue, I described the RH Bill AS A CUT AND PASTE JOB!

      SEC. 14. Benefits for Serious and Life-Threatening Reproductive Health Conditions. All serious and life threatening reproductive health conditions such as HIV and AIDS, breast and reproductive tract cancers, obstetric complications, menopausal and post-menopausal related conditions shall be given the maximum benefits as provided by PhilHealth programs.

      The Philippine Health Insurance Corp. missed the Dec 2010 target mandated by law for it to provide universal health coverage to Filipinos. Health experts say the agency is poorly managed and consequently unable to deliver quality health care to those who need it most. A 2010 Social Weather Station survey on health care services and financing showed only 36 percent of respondents have PhilHealth coverage. (Vera Files)

      Do you think the RH Bill will do better when their hedge or insurance for some very real risks is PhilHealth?

      Sec.15,  Mobile Health Care Service. Each Congressional District shall be provided with at least one Mobile Health Care Service (MHCS) in the form of a van or other means of transportation appropriate to coastal or mountainous areas.

      The provisions set for some serious medical needs most likely to arise from this haphazard project by the House of Representatives ARE SO MINIMAL that a single corrupt irregular transaction can tip the scale to more serious health problems.

      Sec 30. Appropriations. The amounts appropriated in the current annual General Appropriations Act (GAA) for Family Health and Responsible Parenting under the DOH and POPCOM and other concerned agencies shall be allocated and utilized for the initial implementation of this Act. 

      It so happens that it is P731 Million for 2011. This initial amount has been earmarked to cover expenses for information campaign alone. (GMANews.com)

      I bet you that in a couple of years, we will be watching some very dramatic Congressional hearings again on government funds filtering its way to nice houses in the United States, or to some guy's safety deposit box in a Swiss bank.

      The absurdity of it all is the absence of any project cost analysis report, timetable, risk analysis and management, etc. It sounds more like "bahala na si Batman" to me.

      Before I close, I would like to leave you with the following questions:
      • Are you willing to hand over some post dated and blank checks to the House of Representatives?
      • Do you trust that this RH Bill will result to any good at all when it clearly exhibits a lack of thorough research and analysis?
      • Who among the foreign pharmaceutical firms will be dumping selling us the materials and drugs for this project?
      • Would you not rather spend for housing projects for the poor minimum wage earners who cannot afford to buy or even rent decent homes. They end up squatting.
      • Do you want to give our corrupt-ridden government blanket authority over the future of your children's reproductive health? 


      P.S. Thank you to Boyet Ignacio for his generosity in allowing me the use of his photo. His pictures really do speak a thousand words.

          16 comments:

          1. I think to sole the problem of overpopulation, one has to consider education of the individual, family, & community, because (almost all of) the reproductive choices given by the RH Bill are already available. And Reproductive Health should also include social & psychiatrical health care.

            ReplyDelete
          2. Kaitee, thanks. I really think that this RH Bill is a waste of limited resources. The project has a lot of loopholes.

            ReplyDelete
          3. Danika, you are right. It is redundant. And it is time that Congress be accountable for the hours they put in to work. This is a classic example of why the problems remain problems. It is their job to do research, study, brainstorm, come up with solutions, then to present a project study to the people. Then if it fails, it should go on their record.

            ReplyDelete
          4. One is DTK International which has its counterpart here, DKT Philippines. TRUST condoms, anyone? Well, they are the makers.

            Upon reading the Philippine Dossier by the IPPF(International Planned parenthood Federation), you will find these names: ASEP, NGO, ZOTO, DKT INTL.

            Here's the link:PHILIPPINE DOSSIER http://www.ippf.org/NR/rdonlyres/8E19D867-2336-4F2F-B078-D15818DFBE49/0/Philipdossier.pdf

            Oh by the way, did I mention that DKT Philippines also makes another condom by the name of FRENZY?

            Here's the link: http://www.frenzy.com.ph/index.php/must_read Note: You can invent any birthday, you'll get pass the site.

            - BKOH

            ReplyDelete
          5. BKOH, thanks for the info. We have to speak out loudly against this bill. All it will result to is granting of favors in exchange of taxpayers money! We have seen this many times before. Soon we will be watching Congressional hearing on corruption. Have you seen anyone go to jail for it?

            ReplyDelete
          6. You are most welcome! Their wretched ways will never prevail. Whilst at times their falsehoods can be so deafening , I am pretty certain that when God wills it, they will be so blinded with their foolishness.

            Now secularly,haha... that's 3B of contraceptives for Pinas ! Such an atrocious move to rob the country from what the citizens truly deserve. Are you familiar with Planned Parenthood? NGO -allied with PP?

            Can you imagine the poorest of the poor being handed contraceptives instead of something to eat? And then you hear children compare notes about sexuality instead of poring over books and activities worthwhile of knowledge. Oh! By the way, did you know that THIS ploy has also infected the GSP (Girl Scouts of the Philippines)?

            There were priests and nuns in the US handcuffed just for rallying and defending life! It's going to be worse once it happens here.

            There's also a growing number of dissidents and adults who help shape and deform volatile and sensitive minds of teenagers.

            Way too much .....

            - BKOH

            ReplyDelete
          7. Hi BKOH, I am glad to have met you here. It is comforting to see that there are still some people who care. I so agree with you on that. Cheap contraceptives for sure. They are buying United Nations old and outdated ideas. There is power in numbers, no matter how poor. I believe in the resilience of Filipinos. I see poor folks who come to Canada and build a good life for themselves. I don't believe in "prevention" of the gift of life. Yes, I believe in education on planned parenthood that uses natural methods. This RH Bill is not only to right a wrong with another wrong. It is so flawed that it will only amount to some serious health crisis.

            ReplyDelete
          8. Please become a member of I OPPOSE THE RH BILL on fb. We're pretty proactive there too! Also, follow me on twitter - BKOHsAGENDA

            Was wondering if you received a mail from me?

            - BKOH

            ReplyDelete
          9. Hello BKOH, I did not get your email. I will check it again. And I will see you on fb and twitter.

            ReplyDelete
          10. I really do think there is a lack of training, especially in schools, to be open-minded & practical & critical. Because being pro-RH Bill without reading it is being closed-minded. And so is being anti-RH Bill because of religion-influenced politics. The result is feeling that we are left with no choice. RH Bill of no RH Bill, THERE ARE CHOICES.

            We think the government's job is to make the individual's life easier. Neither is morality their job too. The government's job is to protect the state (and the government is the embodiment of state, see how self-serving?), and it is each person's job to survive with whatever tools the state gives him/her, guided by morality.

            ReplyDelete
          11. Hello Danika, we are on the same page-being critical and practical. I also believe in thinking out of the box. Not so in terms of going against our beliefs, but sort of making do with a situation. We should accept the fact that we are a predominantly Roman Catholic and our people are very religious, which is good by the way. And so using the U.S. govt's "faith based initiatives" as an example, why not our govt work with the Catholic Church in getting this family planning/population control work better.

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          12. @Cordi: yep, we are a predominantly-Catholic country, but there are sprinklings of non-Catholic Filipinos, and each of their votes are equal to each Catholic vote. Still, we cannot discount the fact that the State seems to be too powerful, that we forget that the power is supposed to be with voters', and that we feel we need to be anchored with a politician or a political point of view to navigate the State. And let us not forget that our government would most likely work for political interest, and not for moral/religious interest.

            Might this be helpful?-> In the US, majority of the women who have abortions are Christians. I really do think it has something to do with education.

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          13. I agree with you on all points, that is if our government is in a better shape. As it is right now, the score we got is almost perfect in an assessment done by an international org. for corruption. And judging by past performances, projects like the Bataan Nuclear Plant, new intl airport that got so old before it finally went operational but for local travel only, Philhealth which recently got failing marks, Office of the Ombudsman, etc. I grew up seeing corruption at all levels. My father is Retired Deputy Ombudsman Francisco Villa who got hurt fighting corruption against Ombudsman Desierto. So I have been exposed to how they operate on projects like RH Bill. I tell you there is an SOP on how they can make money out of this.

            ReplyDelete
          14. Corruption inflicts us all, even down to the most private citizens. Enough already, I say. We fight what we live for, and live what we fight for. Or else we'll just be senseless megaphones.

            Ignoring that there are SOPs in gov't transactions is a form of corruption too, because in doing so we steal what is lent to us by our children.

            Freshness is what we need, I think. Freshness of mindset that not everything is solved by the gov't, that a corrupt person is just a person who misuses the power given him/her.

            ReplyDelete