MANILA, Philippines - There is no need to pass a law institutionalizing family planning and reproductive health services because the Department of Health (DOH) is already doing the job, Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said on Wednesday.
During the Senate's deliberation on the DOH's proposed budget for 2012, Sotto asked Health Secretary Enrique Ona about the status of its family health and responsible parenting services, whose budget increased to P2.5 billion from P731 million last year.
This includes money for purchasing contraceptives, which the reproductive health (RH) bill provides for.
Ona said the agency has been doing generally well, except in terms of improving health facilities.
"You have been very effective and you plan to improve on the implementations," Sotto told Ona during the hearing. "We don't need any other programs because you are successful."
Sotto told reporters after the hearing he was referring to the RH bill.
He said the DOH's accomplishments are the best arguments against any new program that would only divide the country.
"The best argument against the RH bill is the DOH," said Sotto, who is openly against the controversial measure.