DAVAO City Council approved Tuesday with finality an ordinance creating the city's Women Health Care Clinic, formerly called Reproductive Health Clinic.

The pros and cons debate, which lasted for months, had key elements on reproductive health care, said Councilor Angela Librado Trinidad, chair of the City Council committee on women, children, and family relations.

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Librado said the clinic's services include:

* Maternal, infant, and child health nutrition,

* Family planning information and services,

* Prevention of abortion and management of post-abortion complications,

* Adolescent and youth health,

* Prevention and management of reproductive track infection, HIV/Aids and other sexually transmittable infections,

* Elimination of violence against women,

* Education and counseling on sexuality and sexual and reproductive health,

* Treatment of breast and reproductive health and other gynecological conditions,

* Male involvement and participation in reproductive health,

* Prevention and treatment of infertility and sexual disfunction.

"The ordinance defines family planning as "a program which enables couples and individuals to decide freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children and to have the information and means to carry out their decisions and to have informed choices and access to a full range of safe and effective family planning methods, techniques and device excluding abortion which is a crime," Librado said.

Librado said adolescent sexuality refers to reproductive system gender identity values and beliefs, emotions, relationships, and sexual behavior of young people a social being.

Adolescent is a life stage and pertains to people between ages 10 to 19 years old, Librado said, reading the ordinance' provisions.

"Reproductive health and sexuality education is a process of acquiring complete accurate and relevant information on all matters relating to the reproductive health system, its functions and processes on human sexuality and forming attitudes and beliefs about sex and sexual identity interpersonal relationships, affection, intimacy, and gender roles," Librado said.

"It also includes developing the necessary skills to be able to distinguish between facts and meets between sexuality and critically evaluate the moral, religious, and cultural dimensions of sexuality related issues such as contraception and abortion," she added.

The council decided through nominal voting and received 14 favorable votes from Councilors Myrna Dalodo-Ortiz, Samuel Bangoy, Tomas Monteverde IV, Wilberto Al-ag, Rachel Zozobrado, Jose Louie Villafuerte, Karlo Bello, Conrado Baluran, Ma. Belen Sunga-Acosta, Edgar Ibuyan, Louie John Bonguyan, Paolo Duterte, Diosdado Angelo Mahipus and Librado.

Councilors Bonifacio Militar, Halila Sudagar, Peter Laviña, Dante Apostol, Victorio Advincula, and Pilar Braga abstained.

Those who objected were Councilors Susan Isabel Reta, and Teresita Mata-Maranon. Councilor Danilo Dayanghirang was on leave, while Councilor Leonardo Avila was out.

Weeks previous the ordinance received the amendments that (1) instead of "Reproductive Health Care Clinic" this will be named "Women's Health Care Clinic"; and (2) the plantilla personnel and appropriating funds should be specified.

Librado has already passed a resolution for the second amendment and is now under the committee on appointments and government reorganization chaired by Councilor Peter Lavina.

"An ordinance creating plantilla positions for the Women Health Care Clinic of Davao City under the City Health Office and appropriate action of the Body," said Maranon who has consistently expressed her objection to the Reproductive Health Bill and Librado's resolutions in relation to the bill raised her last argument before the clinic was approved.

"Giving information is fine but the problem is if you provide these services it would open a loophole through the availability of contraceptives. What if a 10-year-old who after getting information about the use of contraceptives and will use contraceptives, because as what's in the provisions of the ordinance an adolescent is within the age range of 10 to 19 years old" Marañon said.

"The problem Councilor Maranon you're jumping the gun on everybody. I think the people who will man that or the people who will be the workforce behind the clinic will be responsible enough not to release contraceptives" Librado said.

Maranon said an amendment should be made in the ordinance' provisions specifying that "only information will be given to the unmarried individuals, children, and adolescents and in no case shall they be given contraceptives."

Librado, however, did not accept the amendment. "I will ask the people in the City Health Office to formulate the guidelines. I am not accepting that amendment but I will put into record that I am agreeing with you and I will ask the City Health Office to take note of your suggestion and make the guidelines according to your suggestion." (JCZ)