MANILA – Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Tuesday announced that his country will invest a total of $17.8 million over five years for projects addressing Filipino women’s reproductive health services.
“I am pleased to announce that Canada will be investing in sexual health and empowerment projects that will be implemented by Oxfam,” Trudeau said during a press briefing at World Trade Center in Pasay City.
Trudeau hoped the funding of the Canadian government would improve access to sexual and reproductive health services to more than 85,000 women and girls living in rural areas in the country.
“When we invest in women and girls, we help entire families, communities, and societies succeed,” he said.
Trudeau also mentioned his visit at a women’s clinic of the non-governmental organization Likhaan’s Center for Women Health in Tondo, Manila right after arriving in the country for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
The Food and Drug Administration had recently declared about 51 contraceptives, including products covered by 2015 the temporary restraining order issued by the Supreme Court, as “safe and non-abortifacient.” This meant that the products do not cause abortion.
According to the SC decision, the TRO would be lifted only if the FDA certified the contraceptives as “not abortifacient.”
Meanwhile, reproductive health advocates in the Philippines continued to lobby Congress for additional funding on women’s reproductive health services following the recent FDA recertification.
The 2018 proposed budget for family planning commodities at the House of Representatives has been restrained to P342.48 million due to the TRO while the Senate is still deliberating on their proposed budget for the General Appropriations Bill.