Canada to invest ₱715 million on PH reproductive health

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 14) — Reproductive health in the Philippines will get a boost with a ₱715.2 million (17.8 million Canadian dollars) investment from Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said on Tuesday.

"I am pleased to announce Canada will be investing $17.8 million over five years for the Sexual Health and Empowerment Project, which will be implemented by Oxfam," Trudeau told reporters at a press conference in Manila.

Oxfam is an international confederation of non-government organizations.

The Canadian leader said the amount would improve access to sexual and reproductive health services of over 85,000 women and girls rural and remote areas of the country.

Trudeau is in Manila for the 31st Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and Related Summits. Canada is a dialogue partner of the regional bloc.

Trudeau’s announcement comes just after the Food and Drug Administration declared 51 brands of contraceptives do not induce abortion. The announcement effectively lifted a 2015 restraining order issued by the Supreme Court that stopped the distribution and certification of these brands.

Related: FDA declares 51 contraceptives as non-abortifacients

"When we invest in women and girls, we help entire societies succeed," Trudeau said.

Trudeau stopped at the  Likhaan Center for Women’s Health in Tondo, Manila before his viral visit to Filipino fast food chain Jollibee on Sunday.

 

Canada has already assisted in the set-up of new clinics in cooperation with Likhaan and the Canadian non-government organization, Inter Pares.  These are expected to benefit 16,000 women and 6,400 children.

"With the support of Inter Pares and the Canadian government, three new clinics in and around Manila have been set up as a result of the initiative — clinics that provide invaluable support for mothers and newborns," Trudeau said.