LAS Piñas Rep. Camille Villar has vowed to push for the approval of proposed legislation at the House of Representatives that would ensure the well-being of expecting mothers and their newborn babies during the recently concluded 2023 National Buntis Assembly.
“You can rest assured that I personally will work conscientiously to advance laws and policies that will ensure quality nutrition and healthcare for infants, and uplift maternity and neonatal services to ensure an environment for child survival, safety, and protection,” Villar said in her speech delivered on November 18 at the Starmall Trade Hall where the assembly was held.
Villar has filed House Bill No. 5684 seeking to prohibit any health institution, hospital, or maternity lying-in from refusing to admit or give assistance to expecting mothers who are about to give birth.
She has likewise been giving financial and medical assistance to poor pregnant women to help them during their pregnancy.
A mother of two, the lady lawmaker acknowledged that “from pregnancy to rearing their young, mothers face unimaginable risks such as maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, under nutrition and malnutrition of their offspring, among other socio-economic factors.”
She noted studies made by the DOH Field Health Service Information System in 2022 showing the government missing its targeted infant mortality rate (10.36 of 15 per 1,000 live births), maternal mortality rate (64.68 of 70 per 100,000 live births), and adolescent birth rate (24.36 of 37 per 1,000 females aged 15-19 years old).
The National Nutrition Commission has also said that “mothers with poor maternal health are more likely to give birth to a low birth-weight baby, with inadequate complementary feeding and breastfeeding, frequent infections, and inadequate food.”
Villar also recognized the crucial role of midwives in ensuring the well-being of expecting mothers and newborn infants, as well as in reducing maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality in the country as she lauded the Midwives Foundation of the Philippines “for elevating the standards of the midwifery profession and providing excellent healthcare services to your patients.”
“May this timely National Buntis Assembly encourage our midwives to continue working with the government in advancing maternal and infant health so that we can nurture the next generation of Filipinos to be among the healthiest in Southeast Asia and the rest of Asia in the years ahead,” she said.
“Let us work hand in hand as we deliver the benefits of our social services to even more mothers and children in every corner of the country. Sa pagtutulugan natin, maaabot natin ang pangarap natin: A better, healthier, and stronger Philippines,” Villar said as she also celebrated mothers, mother figures, and soon-to-be mothers for their countless acts of kindness and selflessness for their families.
“Motherhood is one of the most challenging and fulfilling responsibilities or roles that one can have in their life,” she said in closing.