06 February 2009
Rep. Roilo Golez in his vain attempt to demonize the RH bill has been presenting to his colleagues misleading, deceptive, unreliable, underreported and unofficial data.
In order to portray that family planning and contraceptive use have no correlation to maternal mortality and infant deaths and that the country’s current maternal and infant mortality ratios are not alarming, Golez is guilty of the following flawed methodologies:
1. He “cherry-picks” his statistics from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the WHO on contraceptive prevalence rates (CPR) of different countries in relation to their respective population growth rates (PGR) without disclosing the vast variances in base years of the two indicators, so much so that no sound and logical statistical conclusion can be established.
2. He passes off unofficial information from the “Alternative MDG Midterm Report” of Social Watch Philippines as official data from the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Statistics Office (NSO) which these two government agencies have debunked as not officially published by them.
3. He liberally quotes data from the Field Health Service Information System (FHSIS) of the DOH which the health department itself does not use as the official basis of impact indicators such as maternal mortality ratio (MMR), infant mortality ratio (IMR), contraceptive prevalence rate (CPR) and total fertility rate (TFR) for being more than 50% underreported. The DOH only relies on the NSO’s National Demographic and Health Survey and Family Planning Survey for RH impact indicators as more comprehensive and reliable.
4. He conveniently “updates” his data on maternal mortality ratio as disaggregated by region from 2004 to 2006 when the official and latest statistics released and published by the NSO is as of 2004, as confirmed by NSO Administrator Carmelita Ericta.
5. He attributes terminologies like “Safe Reproduction Index” (SRI) as officially defined and tabulated by the DOH which the latter has unmasked as untrue. The term SRI was in fact coined by an NGO and has never been used by DOH as a relevant indicator.
He uses data from the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the WHO to show that contraceptive use is not related to maternal and child mortality when the very same department has asserted that “a total of 150,000 maternal deaths (representing 32% of all such deaths) and about one million of the 11 million deaths of children under age five could be avoided by effective use of contraception.”
In the same Social Watch Philippines document that he uses to try to prove that maternal mortality is not a problem in the country, on page 35 the authors say that “Maternal mortality could drop by 20-35 percent given access to full information, options, effective contraception.”
With all the inaccurate and deceitful data of Golez, he should be left shadowboxing and I shall refuse to reply to his further interpellation because I do not anymore respect his intellectual integrity.
The global economic meltdown makes highly relevant the enactment of the RH bill because coping with the current crisis is made more arduous and is aggravated by a huge population.
UNICEF underscores that “family planning could bring more benefits to more people at less cost than any other single technology now available to the human race.”