EU pledges 35 million euros to PH to provide free contraceptives for poor Pinoys

( The European Union (EU) announced on Friday that they will provide an initial fund of 35 million euros (about P2.1 billion) to help poor Filipinos get free access to contraceptives, reports Its officials also backed the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill.

Nicholas Taylor, head of the operations section of the EU delegation to the Philippines, said, "We’ve always taken our rights-based approach saying that, unequivocally, with no hesitation at all, we support access to modern family planning. Hear my words, access."

The EU officials said making the rural poor pay for contraceptives is "silly," reports Taylor said, "If you find (modern contraceptives, say birth control pills) in some rural health units but the municipal health officer would say you have to pay P5, that is a denial of access to very poor people."

Joern Dosch, leader of the EU’s cooperation program evaluation team assigned to the Philippines, said population growth in the country "needs to be addressed at some point." He said enacting the RH Bill will "give a legal framework for driving it (the promotion of family planning and access to contraceptives) much more effectively."

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