Candidates Forum on Reproductive Health Law tackles issues on poverty and mortality rates in Bangsamoro

The “I CHANGE Vote for Change Movements” in partnership with Coalition of Human Rights Defenders and Peace Builders (CHRDPB) held Candidates Forum on Reproductive Health Law on April 12, 2016 at El-Manuel convention Hall, Cotabato City.

The activity aims to raise public awareness on sexual and reproductive health and family planning, develop policy champions among candidates once they are elected.

Representatives from DOH-ARMM discussed about ARMM’s situations on health, education and socio economics issues as effects of the non- observance of the Reproductive Health and family planning.

Mr Aliuddin Haron, a Bangsamoro Development Agency (BDA) representative discussed about situation of Reproductive Health in Bangsamoro. He said that poverty incidents in the Bangsamoro are very high compared to other regions.

In the issue of accessibility and opportunity, 36.6% Moro people have access in safe water, while 73.3% in Mindanao and 79.9% in entire country and 22.5% Moro people have access to sanitary toilet, while in Mindanao 83% and 87.2% in the country, Haron further explained.

He also discussed the high mortality rates of infants and mothers due to poor accessibility to hospital and medical equipment and personnel.

“Islam allows family planning methods as long as it is mutually- agreed by the couple and clearly stated in fatwa and not as form of birth control”, Haron added.

Roman Catholics and Islam representatives who requested anonymity shared their opinions and recommendations. 

Some says that RH law is very debatable in addressing extreme poverty in the ARMM. They cited the population’s depletion of the Bangsamoro people from early seventies up to the present thus the Moros became the minority. That is why there is no need for birth control methods for the Bangsmoro people instead the government must address the root cause of the problem.

It has been concluded that extreme poverty incidents in the country is due to poor leadership and massive corruption in government.