Health caravan not for RH bill, say DOH execs
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan—A health caravan launched by the Department of Health (DOH) in March should not be mistaken as a government vehicle to promote the controversial reproductive health (RH) bill, a DOH official said here on Tuesday.
Asuncion Anden, director of the DOH’s national health planning committee, said the caravan, dubbed Lakbay Buhay Kalusugan (LBK), was a “mere information campaign” that offers counseling for res-ponsible parenthood and child care.
LBK, which features a mobile clinic, made its second stop in this Pangasinan capital after its launch in an Aeta village in Capas, Tarlac. The caravan will next visit Nueva Ecija, Bohol, Negros Occidental, Bukidnon, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, South Cotabato and Maguindanao.
“When this project was approved, there were no talks or debate yet regarding the RH bill,” said Dr. Anna Maria Teresa de Guzman, Pangasinan health officer.
But when asked on their position on the RH bill, Anden, De Guzman and Dr. Valeriano Lopez Jr., acting DOH regional director, said they believe in giving people choices on reproductive health concerns, so it is important for people to be given the right information.
The caravan’s stop in Pangasinan seeks to serve some 1,500 families, including children five years and below, in the towns of Lingayen, Binmaley, Bugallon and Labrador.
DOH officials said the LBK promotes health care for pregnant women and aims to bring critical health information to families.
The caravan also introduced iron-fortified rice developed by the National Food Authority, which is being sold at P27 a kilogram.