The Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) organized a series of policy development workshops to support local government units in five provinces in crafting their own comprehensive reproductive health (RH) ordinances that would strengthen the implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law in their respective LGUs.
Called “LGUs in the Frontline: Policy Development Workshop on LGU Implementation of the RPRH Law” the series of two-day workshops was held on April 25-26 in Cebu for LGU stakeholders of Cebu, May 8-9 in Cebu for Albay statekholders, May 24-25 in La Union for Ifugao stakeholders, June 21-22 for in La Union for Benguet stakeholders, and on July 3-6 in Baguio City for Palawan stakeholders. The stakeholders who participated were a mix of provincial and municipal health officers and family planning coordinators, legislators and sanggunian secretaries, provincial and municipal planning and budget officers, and representatives of civil society organizations.
The policy development workshop series focused on increasing awareness of LGU stakeholders on the key provisions and the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the RPRH Law, formulating proposed local RPRH ordinance, and developing an action plan to map out the necessary steps for finalizing the proposed ordinances for their eventual approval by the Sanggunian of the respective provinces and municipalities.
Discussions in the workshop included inputs on salient provisions of the RPRH Law, updates on the RPRH Law implementation at the national and provincial levels, the role of LGUs in the implementation of the RPRH Law, the local legislative process and access points for advocacy, and parts of an ordinance, among others. As their output, the participants crafted a proposed ordinance and action plan for the localization of the RPRH Law. The workshops also included courtesy calls to host LGUs, which had participants and the host LGUs exchanging lessons on best practices and challenges in implementation.
The series is part of the project called “Sustaining National and Local Advocacy for Reproductive Health in the Philippines” that is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through the Forum for Family Planning and Development.