Congress approves bills on health, displaced persons

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez


TWO proposed measures aimed at promoting the rights of Filipinos were approved by the House of Representatives last week. House Bill (HB) 5627 seeks to provide monetary compensation including immediate relief and humanitarian assistance to victims of internal displacement, their families and communities and to ensure their safe return, resettlement and rehabilitation in their respective communities. Internally displaced persons (IDP) are also protected from other land conflicts such as land conversion, environmental destruction, aggressive implementation of development projects and other man-made disasters.

“The bill defines and criminalizes acts of arbitrary internal displacement committed by any person or group of persons and directed against the civilian population,” Cagayan de Oro City Rep. Rufus B. Rodriguez (2nd district), one of the authors, said in a statement yesterday.

Under the measure, the Commission on Human Rights is tasked to supervise the identification of beneficiaries as well as the distribution of monetary compensation. The House, likewise, approved a bill seeking to provide a national folic acid education campaign to raise the level of awareness among women of childbearing age and health professionals on the importance of folic acid at preventing birth defects.

The campaign, to be headed by the Health department, aims to encourage women of reproductive capacity to consume daily, enough amount of folic acid, which is a B vitamin found naturally in food such as green leafy vegetables, beans, citrus fruits and juices and in certain multivitamins capsules. Folic acid helps prevent infant birth defects in the brain and spine.

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