MANILA, Philippines – Not only was it designed to protect and promote the reproductive health and rights of Filipinos, the Reproductive Health Law is also a good calamity risk reduction strategy, its principal author in the House of Representatives said on Monday.
In his keynote address during a forum entitled Establishing the Links between RH, Population and Climate Change, Albay Representative Edcel Lagman noted how he had “always maintained that the absence of a comprehensive and national policy on RH also contributed to the level of devastation and impact of climate change on the lives of people.”
The legislator said that preventing environmental degradation did not need to be costly nor should it be limited to green technologies.
“Since a huge population and calamities are fatal partners, the mitigation of the population growth rate as a logical consequence of promoting universal access to reproductive health and family planning, will enhance the Philippines’ positive response to climate change mitigation and adaptation,” said Lagman.
“(The RH law) is truly an effective development tool that will simultaneously aid government in addressing problems relating to population, reproductive health and climate change,” he added.
He cited a paper published by the London School of Economics (LSE) in August 2009 entitled Reducing Future Carbon Emissions by Investing in Family Planning: A Cost/Benefit Analysis which stated that “family planning is considerably cheaper than many low carbon technologies” and that “family planning is a cost effective tool in reducing carbon emissions.”
He also cited the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s definition of climate change as “change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity” and listed the following relevant impacts of the new law on reducing calamities:
Generating more savings from lesser government intervention and expenditure for pregnancy and maternity-related health services which savings can be channeled to climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and facilities.