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Sen. Gatchalian: LGU support critical to effective RH law implementation

​Children while away time by the stairs of their new homes at a resettlement in Valenzuela City, file photo. ​Senator Gatchalian, who led Valenzuela with a nine-year transformative years of leadership, said the success or failure of the nationwide Reproductive Health (RH) policy will depend largely on the level of cooperation and skill contributed by local government units to the critical policy challenge. (Photo by Mark Cayabyab)

Strong operational support from local government units will be critical to ensuring the success of the national government’s push to effectively implement the Reproductive Health Law, Senator Win Gatchalian stressed on Tuesday.

“As the arm of government closest to the people, LGUs need to stay at the forefront of the fight to improve reproductive health outcomes for women and the youth. The success or failure of the nationwide RH policy will depend largely on the level of cooperation and skill contributed by LGUs to this critical policy challenge,” said Gatchalian.

A former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City, Gatchalian explained that as the owners and operators of local public health centers, LGUs control the primary avenue for providing pre-natal and post-natal care to underprivileged constituents.

Because of this, LGUs are in the best position to combat child mortality and improve maternal health standards among the poor.

Gatchalian also stressed that LGU support would be critical to fighting an emerging reproductive health concern within the country: the spread of HIV/AIDS.

“Combating the grave health issues facing our country today will require a concerted effort involving the entire government apparatus, from the barangay level all the way up to the national level. As we seek to fully implement the provisions of the Reproductive Health Law, I know from personal experience that LGUs need to be part of the solution,” said Gatchalian.

During Gatchalian’s final term as mayor, Valenzuela City was named one of the Champions of Health Governance in recognition of the city government’s excellent and efficient implementation of public health programs aimed at addressing the Millennium Development Goals concerning child mortality, maternal health, and HIV/AIDS and other disease epidemics.