Monday, June 27, 2016

Government, NGOs and Partners Spent P40.7B for 2015 RPRH Services

Expenditures for the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) of Filipinos increased to 40.70 billion pesos from 26.8 billion in 2014. This was the highlight of the Department of Health (DOH) RPRH Report for 2015.

The leap in expenditure came despite last year’s hampered implementation due to the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the Supreme Court in June 2015.

According to the 2015 RPRH Accomplishment Report, the TRO prevented DOH and other agencies mandated to implement the RPRH Law from implementing the subdermal implant method of family planning.

Moreover, DOH Secretary Janette Loreto-Garin attributes the increase in expenditure to the performance of the health department in utilization of its budget.

“I would attribute it to the good performance of DOH for the past months, for the past year. Because our utilization is not only good but fast, systematic, and planned. We don’t have delays because agencies and partners work together in a very much well-defined directions,” Garin explained.

The 2015 Accomplishment Report unveiled last June 22 showed that budget expenditure for Health Facilities Enhancement Program posted a 32% improvement at 89% from only 57% in 2014. For the Expanded Program on Immunization, the utilization rate increased to 99% from 95% in 2014. By the end of 2015, 78% of funds for Family Health and Responsible Parenting has been used, compared to only 61% during the previous year.

2015 Budget Appropriations

The Report said that 53% of the total expenditure came from the DOH at P21.74 billion, almost doubled from P14.32 billion in the previous year.

Funding for the demand generation came from POPCOM’s RPRH activities at P240 million, better than the P198 million last 2014.

POPCOM reached 599,310 clients through 55,493 Barangay RPRH classes for both 4Ps and non-4Ps beneficiaries. Through Pre-Marriage Counselling (PMC), they reached 117,583 couples while Usapan Serye reached 25,063 clients.

PhilHealth’s reimbursement services at P12.80 billion added much in the total budget, 13% higher from P11.3 billion in 2014.

The bulk of claims covered by PhilHealth at P10.14 billion were paid for 992,442 women that gave birth at a facility. This is a huge increase from the 736,707 women that gave birth in a facility in 2014 pegged at P7.64 billion worth of claims.

“Our budget comes from premium collection or investments. We paid for premium contributions of the marginalized members. Last year, we were able to collect 96 billion pesos coming from different sectors of society. Out of 96 billion, 13 billion were paid for the providers of family planning and all others. It also covered benefits such as prenatal, newborn screening and soon to be given as stated in the law, the inborn diseases of babies,” said PhilHealth President and CEO Atty. Alexander Padilla.

RH service providers include more than 750 PhilHealth accredited public hospitals and infirmaries, more than 2,553 accredited Primary Care Benefit providers, and 2,981 accredited Maternity Care Package providers in the country.

In addition to government funds, developments partners and Civil Society Organizations spent P5.92 billion and P238 million, respectively to help RPRH implementation.
The report emphasized that the success in securing the 2015 budget strengthened the RPRH Law’s first full year implementation.

Accomplishments Quantified

The five key areas that were left unfinished as Millennium Development Goals (MDG) were highlighted in the report:

(1)  Maternal, neonatal, child health and nutrition

Out of the 1.5 million live births in 2015, an estimated 1.2 million were covered by the Department of Health (DOH). These deliveries were facility-based and done by skilled birth attendants.

(2)  Family Planning

The use of modern FP methods has been steadily increasing over the years. Almost 5.5 million women are using modern family planning methods, with pills gaining the highest utilization. This means more and more women and couples are now giving more importance on the number, timing and spacing of their children.

(3)  Adolescent sexuality and reproductive health

POPCOM has been empowering young people through the U4U Teen Trail initiative. Reaching 1.3 million adolescents, U4U is an interactive mix of face-to-face and online activities aimed to educate the youth on various concerns that directly or indirectly affect them. 

ASRH services such as the Program for Young Parents (PYP) have already been integrated among 25 hospitals nationwide. In 2015, the PYP provided counseling services to 134,000 young people.

(4)  Sexually-transmitted infections and HIV/AIDS

IEC materials about HIV/AIDS are being disseminated including hotline numbers of hygiene clinics which offer free testing services nationwide. 

In 2015, DOH procured anti-retroviral drugs worth P220 million; to be delivered in 2016 to attend to more than 15,000 people living with HIV.

(5)  Gender-based violence

The Women and Children Protection Unit of DOH recorded 4,699 cases of violence against children and 23,865 cases of violence against women.

Critical services have been devoted to help the victims as mandated by the Magna Carta of Women. As of 2015, 87% of the 42,029 barangays have already established VAW desks.

Improvements were felt in the state of RPRH in the country in 2015 but still it remains both a challenge and a renewed commitment in the years to come is needed especially due to the TRO on some provisions of the RPRH Law and the cooperation of the Local Government Units (LGU).

“We hope that the DILG and the Union of Local Authorities can be asked (…) to restrain the LGUs from passing policies against the RPRH law. They should help in crafting and implementing ordinances for solid implementation of the RPRH Law," said Commission on Population Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III.

While the outgoing head of agencies mandated to implement RPRH expressed their commitment for their agencies, they also seek same passion to be given by the incoming cabinets to RPRH.

“Make it known that PhilHealth is there for the mothers and children to pay for the services. It’s easy for mothers to register with us. It’s in the law, even if not members of PhilHealth, they can avail of the benefits,” Padilla said.

“Even with the partners, even with POPCOM, DOH and other government agencies, we always emphasize that we have to minimize trainings and advocacies. We now have to maximize service delivery,” Garin noted.


From L-R: Former Health Secretary Ezperanza Cabral, Head of the RPRH National Implementation Team; Dr. Janette-Loreto Garin, DOH Health Secretary; and Dr. Juan Antonio Perez III, POPCOM Executive Director, poses after the unveiling of the 2015 RPRH Accomplishment Report.

Contact: Information Management and Communications Division - Commission on Population
Tel.: (02) 531-6978                                        Cell Phone: 0916-707-0379
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