The Liga ng mga Barangay (LNB) of Misamis Oriental pledged full support to Executive Order No. 12 (EO12) during the Misamis Oriental Provincial Congress on May 23, 2017, at De Luxe Hotel, Cagayan de Oro City. LNB is an association of barangay captains of a province or city. More than 500 barangay captains attended the activity.

During the provincial congress, Mr. Ardizon T. Arsua, Information Officer II of POPCOM-10 presented the salient features of EO12. President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed EO12 on January 9, 2017, to attain and sustain zero unmet need for modern family planning through strict implementation of the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Act.

Mr. Arsua explained why there is a need for EO12. He discussed issues like unachieved fertility goals among women. “The problem here is that higher fertility is found among poor and uneducated women. The total fertility rate in this sector is 5.1%. Now the question is, how can they provide the basic needs of their kids like food, shelter, clothing, and education when they are even struggling to survive for a day?”, Mr. Arsua said.

Apart from the high TFR among the poor and uneducated, increasing incidence of teenage pregnancy and proliferation of STI, HIV, and AIDS were other issues presented during the congress. “EO12 ensures strict implementation of RPRH Law. This guarantees rights-based access to sexual and reproductive health care services down to the grassroots level which addresses these health issues. Accelerating the implementation of the said law, particularly in the provision of the modern family planning commodities and services would be very possible through the full support of barangay officials spearheaded by the Barangay Captains”, Mr. Arsua emphasized.

LNB of Misamis Oriental sees the need for RPRH law and expressed full support for its implementation. Some of the actions they will initially do are to monitor and ensure the availability of modern family planning methods in barangay health centers. They will also conduct an inventory of their community volunteers like BPVs, BHWs, and BNS, provide training if needed, and mobilize them in their respective barangays. They will also consider the possibility of honorarium increased. “If we want to empower these volunteers, we also need to consider their needs. Remember, no one can be a patriot with an empty stomach”, one Barangay Captains said.