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Senate bill filed requiring local governments to upgrade maternal health services 


A BILL requiring local governments to upgrade devolved health services and facilities, particularly for maternal care, has been filed at the Senate.  

“Our bill mandates all LGUs (local government units) to provide and create a facility for maternal care regardless of whether the cases are high or not,” Senator Mark A. Villar told BusinessWorld in a Viber message.   

“Essentially, we want LGUs to be proactive.”  

Under Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health, only “upon its determination of the necessity based on well-supported data provided by its local health office” should an LGU establish or upgrade hospitals and facilities.  

The proposed measure aims to encourage facility-based childbirth for all women and retain health workers who will handle these services.  

“My proposed bill aims to provide comprehensive and effective health services for our mothers, before, during and after they give birth,” Mr. Villar said in Filipino in a statement on Thursday.   

Senate Bill 1416 also proposes that no maternal health facility, whether public or private, may refuse to assist, admit, or accept the entry of a mother at the time of childbirth.  

The senator said it was “alarming” to know that the country had an increasing number of maternal mortalities, citing data from the Philippine Statistics Authority.   

“We can also attribute maternal mortality due to access to services and location of health facilities,” he said. “With the passage of the bill, I am certain that this administration will ensure access to health facilities for all expecting mothers regardless of economic status and location.” — Alyssa Nicole O. Tan

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