Senator Pia Cayetano

Why We

The Philippines is a predominantly Catholic country, having been occupied and colonized by the Spanish in the 1500s. For hundreds of years, the Catholic Church has dominated the Filipino social political life.  And despite a constitutional provision separating Church and State, the Catholic Church continues to have a strong influence in policy-making.

The long absence of an RH program has resulted in a consistently high birth rate compared to our Asian neighbors, an increase in unwanted pregnancies and illegal abortions, maternal deaths, teen pregnancies and being tagged as one of the nine countries with an increasing rate of HIV and STI cases.

Over the years, women and health advocates started to clamor for a reproductive health policy that provided access to information and family planning services to the poor. This was met not just with stiff opposition from the church but worse, translated into the Catholic Church pressuring policy-makers to shut down any program, funding or legislation that had to do with reproductive health.