PIA News Service - Thursday, August 8, 2013

Agusan Norte solon seeks additional benefits and privileges for pregnant women

By Eldie N. David

BUTUAN CITY, August 8 (PIA) – Agusan del Norte First District representative Lawrence “Law” Fortun has filed a bill in Congress that seeks to provide additional benefits and privileges for pregnant women and their families.

The proposed measure, House Bill 00361 entitled, “An Act Providing for the Benefits and Privileges to Pregnant Women and their Families, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes” gave emphasis on the “policy of the State to promote the family as the foundation of the nation, strengthen its solidarity and ensure its total development. Towards this end, it shall develop a comprehensive program of services to pregnant women and their families to be carried out by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH) and other related government and non-government agencies.”

If approved and becomes a law it will provide assistance to “any pregnant woman whose income in the place of domicile falls below the poverty threshold as set by the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) and subject to the assessment of the DSWD worker in the area.”

Among the benefits and privileges that will be enjoyed by the beneficiary are: 1) flexible work schedule, 2) protection from any form of discrimination, 3) medical leave of one day during each month of the woman’s pregnancy on top of the existing privileges under existing laws, and 4) medical assistance from the Department of Health and the local government units.

“It has been my advocacy for the government to come up with a comprehensive program that would benefit pregnant women who are employed in the course of their pregnancies. I hope that the proposed measure, if passed into law, will aid pregnant women during the course of their delicate condition at the same time ensure that their employment will remain secure while they are pregnant,” Fortun said in filing the bill. (FEA/OLF/PIA-Caraga)


NSO gears up for 2013 National Demographic & Health Survey

By Villa S. Bayotas

BUTUAN CITY, Aug. 8 (PIA) -- The National Statistics Office (NSO) Caraga will conduct the 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) from August 12 to September 24, this year.

This survey is the tenth in a series of national demographic and health surveys conducted every five years since 1968 to collect data on fertility, family planning and health in the country.

Fertility rates, under-five mortality rates, antenatal care coverage, and births attended by skilled health professionals are among the indicators derived from NDHS. These indicators are being used by the government in tracking the country’s progress in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Same with the 2008 round, this years’ NDHS will also collect data on Violence Against Women. This undertaking is part of the worldwide Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Program.

The NDHS will involve interviewing all women who are 15 to 49 years of age in the sample households. These women will be asked questions about their background, the children they have given birth to, their knowledge and use of family planning methods, the health of their children, reproductive health and other information which will be helpful to policymakers and administrators in the health and family planning fields. It aims to provide information on fertility, family planning, and health in the country mainly for use by the government in monitoring the progress of the programs on population, family planning and health.

The 2013 NDHS has these specific objectives to collect data which will allow the estimation of demographic rates, particularly fertility rates under-five mortality rates by urban-rural residence and region; to analyze the direct and indirect factors which determine the level and patterns of fertility; to measure the level of contraceptive knowledge and practice by method, urban-rural residence and region; to collect data on health, immunizations, prenatal and postnatal check-ups, assistance at delivery, breastfeeding, and prevalence and treatment of diarrhea, fever and acute respiratory infections among children below five years old; to collect data on environmental health, utilization of health facilities, prevalence of common non-communicable and infectious diseases, and membership in PhilHealth; to collect data on awareness of cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dengue fever and tuberculosis; to determine the knowledge of women about AIDS, and the extent of misconception on HIV transmission and access to HIV testing; and to determine the extent of violence against women.

A total of about 16,000 households throughout the country have been scientifically selected from the sample Enumeration Areas. Each of these households will be visited and interviewed using the Household Questionnaire. All women aged 15 to 49 years in the sample households estimated at around 19,000, will be interviewed using the Individuals Woman’s Questionnaire. This sample size will allow the generation of reliable estimates of indicators stated above for each region. In Caraga Region, our Field Interviewers will be visiting around 720 households.

The NSO Field Staff and selected trained Field Interviewers in Caraga will do a comprehensive door-to-door interview to the sample households during enumeration period. As provided in Section 4 of CA 591 (Confidentiality Clause), NSO assures the respondents that all information furnished to the FIs are strictly confidential and shall not be used as evidence in court for purposes of taxation, regulation or investigation. (FEA/NSO-13/PIA-Caraga)