Informal sector to get RH services

Published by rudy Date posted on November 12, 2005

Davao City (12 November) — About 60,000 workers in informal employment will get improved health and welfare especially on reproductive health services by the end of 2009.

This is the objective of the recently launched RH@Work: Increasing Access of Vulnerable Workers to RH Services in Davao City with the Trade Union Congress of the Philippines (TUCP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) as the lead implementers.

The project takes the informal sector workers as beneficiaries because they largely belong to the economically disadvantaged but potentially productive age groups.

The said sector comprises around 50 per cent of total employment over the past years. Most of the ones in the informal sector employment are market and ambulant vendors, tricycle, pedicab and jeepney drivers, “own-account” construction and port workers. They are unregistered, untaxed and unrecorded which makes them beyond the reach of government regulations and protection.

Despite evidences and vulnerability and their immense role in the over-all economy, there is an apparent lack of available health programs that specifically target them.

TUCP also learned from its study that although the government provides programs for the informal sector like credit financing, training and information, essential services like reproductive health care and information are virtually non-existent.

With the $150,000 grant from the UNFPA, RH services will be provided by trained personnel and a complete package of RH services will be made available like family planning, maternal and child health, violence against women etc.

“This project is designed for sustainability by working with the smallest sector in the society, the barangays. We will train them and provide assistance.”, said Ariel Castro, TUCP Director for Education.

It also establishes union-run and managed family welfare clinics staffed by professional and trained health service providers. (PIA) –Mai B. Gevera

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