Philippines 21 Jan 2013 04:51
After 14 years of dormancy after it was filed in 1999, and in between the convolution of debates on whether to pass it as a law or not, the Reproductive Health Law was finally enacted and signed by the Philippines President Simeon Benigno Aquino III.
The law, that would give funding for the distribution of free contraceptives, requiring government hospitals to provide reproductive health services, and mandating public schools to teach sex education, was met with strong opposition from the influential Catholic church in the only nation in Southeast Asia where the majority of its population are Catholics.
The issue of the country's population, which is attributed by the law's authors and supporters to the rising poverty level in contrast to the church's moral discourse on abortion and contraception has been one of the widely debated aspect
The Philippines is a country of 94 million people, where almost a third of the population live below the poverty line. With the majority of Filipinos still face rising commodity prices, record joblessness, low wages, and ever growing poverty, and with a lack of vital national industries, a declining agricultural output, and continued dependence on labor export and remittances, the question of wether this law can suffice to the plight of the everyday Filipino still remains.