Letter to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte

January 22, 2017

PRESIDENT RODRIGO ROA DUTERTE
Office of the President
Republic of the Philippines
Malacanang Palace, Manila

Dear President Duterte,

Greetings from the officers and members of Doctors for Life, Philippines, a national organization of Filipino doctors dedicated to promoting the protection of human life in all stages and conditions, especially the most vulnerable. We also promote respect for the rights of patients to autonomy and informed decision based on correct, truthful, and factual information as required by PHILHEALTH.

We share your desire to promote the health and welfare of all Filipinos, and particularly the poor, many of them living in abject poverty.  We write at this time because we are concerned by some of the developments regarding the Reproductive Health Law ( RA 10354).  There are a number of violations of the Constitution and of Existing laws in the original form which has been pointed out by the Supreme Court. One of the most serious being respect for the right to life from conception or fertilization… RA 10354 provides that drugs and devices that prevent implantation are prohibited, yet the Dept of Health continues to use and promote these.   These birth control pills including the injectables and IUDs can prevent births by preventing implantation thus resulting to chemical abortion of newly-conceived human being.  RA 10354 requires the Food and Drug administration ( FDA) to make a list of all these drugs based on available scientific data and public hearing but to this day that has not been done. This is in relation to the scientific data of the reality of “escape ovulation” inspite of taking the PILL This is the reason for the TRO imposed by the Supreme Court. Please take note that America eventually legalized abortion because the major argument of the RH lawyers was the fact that Pills and IUD are abortifacients so why was abortion illegal?

Other major concerns are its proven serious side effects such as premature high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, increased risk of developing Stroke and most of all breast Cancer. These have all been proven by large scale meta-analysis of research studies done in many parts of the world. Please take note that the TOP Three cause of death in our country are Heart diseases, Diseases of the Vascular System and Cancer ( Breast Cancer among women). Maternal death related to pregnancy is not even in the top ten causes of death.

No birth control drug or device work 100 % therefore in spite of its widespread promotion including among the young “unwanted pregnancy” have been rising because of failure rate which is highest with the condom.

We applaud the steps your administration is taking to improve government hospitals and provide them basic equipments. Many government hospitals may have new buildings but lack basic facilities like ECG, Chest Xray, incubator for premature babies, etc because once they broke down there is great difficulty to repair or maintain them. There are no free simple medicines like antibiotics, fluids for hydration for the common ailments of children. Sick children are just given prescriptions which oftentimes parents cannot buy, but health centers are teeming with contraceptives which women get without genuine informed decision.

What we need are good prenatal care, well equipped hospitals with facilities to help mothers with complicated pregnancies ( which is not common) and a good blood bank. These should be close to lying in facilities in the provinces so the mothers can be attended to when the need arise.  

The population control movement actually started in the early 1900 by Margaret Sanger. We invite you to take note of her background, ideology and affiliations. Both Jose Rizal and Andres Bonifacio will not be very pleased.

Many Economist and demographers have long busted overpopulation as a myth. All of the Group of 8 powerful nations in the World who listened to this are now in experiencing demographic winter. That is why they are in need of workers and immigrants to sustain their economy. As demographer Julian Simon expound, “It is not slower population growth that brings prosperity but rather it is prosperity that slows population growth!” The best way to exit poverty is education and correct appropriation of resources and we are glad you have great interest in delivering basic services especially for the poor.

Our national fertility rate has fallen from eight children per Filipina to less than three within a little more than half a century.  There is no sound reason to believe this trend will not continue, with or without contraceptives, because it is primarily a result of rural to urban migration, and educational and employment opportunities for women not contraception which inevitably includes abortion. Various researchers have already shown this..  The greater danger is that it will proceed to below-replacement levels, as it already has in most of the world.  Among our neighbours the first to recognize that was Singapore. Japan, South Korea and Thailand have also realized this fact, and lately China realized its repercussion. Its population has grown too old to sustain the transition to a fully-developed status. An aging population brought about by below-replacement fertility also affects the social security programs which can become unsustainable, as many countries in Asia and Europe have realized. We should not make the same mistake.

We humbly request therefore, that these considerations be studied carefully. We need to do independent research and not rely on data provided by groups with vested interest on population control. (We invite you to review kissengerreport2004.pdf )

Enclosed herewith is a longer and detailed dissertation which we hope and pray your staff and other responsible agencies can review and research on independently.

Respectfully yours,

DOLORES OCTAVIANO, MD, FPCP, FPSEM
Chair, Committee on Advocacy
Head Section of Endocrinology
St. Paul’s Hospital, Iloilo  

ELEANOR B. PALABYAB,MD,FPOGS
President
Assoc. Prof Davao Medical School

REYNALDO J. ECHAVEZ, M.D
Co Chair Committee on Advocacy
Former Governor Philippine Medical Asstn.

BENITO V. SUNGA, M.D,FPCS, FPUA
VP for Luzon
St. Louie University, Baguio

ANGELITA MIGUEL-AGUIRRE,MD,FPCP
Advisory Board
Professor of Medicine & Bioethics UST FMS

RENE C. BULLECER, MD
VP for Visayas
AIDS FREE Philippines, Cebu

ORESTES MONZON, MD, FPCR
Advisory Board
Philippine Heart Center  

THERESE BORROMEO- LUMICAO MD, FPSMS, DPPS
VP for Mindanao
Servwide, Cagayan De Oro

LIGAYA ACOSTA, PhD
Advisory Board
Human Life Intl, Asia & Oceania

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