City of Koronadal, South Cotabato – Regional Development Council XII chaired by Honorable Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera of General Santos City approved during its third quarter meeting on September 9, 2017, RDC XII Resolution No. 103, Series of 2017, a resolution Enjoining the SOCCSKSARGEN Regional Implementation Team (RIT) Member Agencies, Civil Society Organization and Local Government Units to Fast-Track The Implementation of Their Respective Roles and Responsibilities Under the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health (RPRH) Law.

The resolution is supportive of the 0-10 socioeconomic agenda of the Duterte Administration, particularly the strengthening of the implementation of the RPRH Law which is crucial to the attainment of the overall goal of inclusive growth, a high trust society, and a globally competitive knowledge economy.  The said resolution was presented during the RIT meeting on October 11-13, 2017 in General Santos City, for the information of its members. Likewise, said resolution requests the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) XII to issue a memorandum circular to the LGUs in the region to implement the same at the local level.

Dr. Francisco V. Mateo of the Department of Health (DOH) XII was pleased with RDC’s support to RPRH.  LGU representatives expressed optimism and hoped to get the support of their local chief executives by providing fund support to the RPRH programs and activities.  Initially, the LGUs requested the assistance of DOH and the Commission on Population (POPCOM) in the creation and/or strengthening of the Provincial/City Implementation Team (P/CIT).

On October 26, 2017, DILG XII Regional Director Reynaldo M. Bungubung transmitted a message addressed to all DILG XII Provincial and City Directors to perform their roles and responsibilities in the implementation of the RPRH Law.

In support of the creation/strengthening of the Provincial/City Implementation Team, the DOH XII and POPCOM XII with the help of Jhpiego-Advance Family Planning (AFP) under its Program Manager Ms. Virginia De Ocampo, committed to provide the needed funding and technical assistance to capacitate the team at the local level.

The resolution was also instrumental in realizing the conduct of meeting and capacity building for Cotabato Province and Cotabato City Implementation Team scheduled on November 21-24, 2017 (Davao City) and December 12-14, 2017 (Cotabato City), respectively.  They shall be also oriented on Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound (SMART) advocacy tool introduced by the Advance Family Planning organization.

Through the active implementation of programs and activities, the SOCCSKSARGEN RIT is hopeful to achieve the goals of RPRH Law which are improved maternal and neonatal health, access to family planning based on informed choice, reduced adolescent birth rate, incidence of HIV and gender-based violence with the support of the local chief executives, civil society organization and other stakeholders.  (Evie Arabis Cabulanan, NEDA XII-DRD)