PRESIDENTIAL DECREE No. 79
REVISING THE POPULATION ACT OF NINETEEN
HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-ONE
WHEREAS, Republic Act 6365, entitled “An Act Establishing a National Policy on Population, creating the Commission on Population and for other purposes” was enacted into law on August 15, 1971;
WHEREAS, in order to effectively implement the population program, vital amendments to R.A. 6365 are necessary;
WHEREAS, the population program is an integral and vital part of social reform and economic development;
WHEREAS, one of the objectives of Proclamation No. 1081 is to effect social, economic and political reforms, and thus bring about the transformation of a new society in our country, a society designed to improve the quality of life of each Filipino;
WHEREAS, family planning and responsible parenthood assure greater opportunity for each Filipino to reach his full potential and to attain his individual dignity;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution of the Philippines as Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Philippines and pursuant to Proclamation No. 1081 dated September 21, 1972 and General Order No. 1 dated September 22, 1972 as amended, and in order to effect desired changes and reforms in the social, economic, and political structures of our society, do hereby adopt, approve and make as part of the law of the land, the attached measure.
Changes and modifications in this Revised Population Act shall be made from time to time, as necessity requires, to be correspondingly announced by me or by my duly authorized representative.
This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, Nineteen hundred and Seventy-two.
REVISING THE POPULATION ACT OF NINETEEN
HUNDRED AND SEVENTY-ONE.
Section 1. This decree shall be known as the Revised Population Act of the Philippines.
Section 2. Declaration of Policy. The Government of the Philippines hereby declares that for the purpose of furthering the national development, increasing the share of each Filipino in the fruits of economic progress and meeting the grave social and economic challenge of high rate of population growth, a national program of family planning involving both public and private sectors which respect the religious beliefs and values of the individuals involved shall be undertaken.
Section 3. Commission on Population: Creation. There is hereby created an agency under the Office of the President, a Commission on Population hereinafter referred to as POPCOM, to carry out the purposes and objectives of this Decree.
Section 4. Purposes and Objectives. The POPCOM shall have the following purposes and objectives:
a) To formulate and adopt coherent, integrated and comprehensive long-term plans, programs and recommendations on population as it relates to economic and social development consistent with and implementing the population policy which shall be submitted to and approved by the President;
b) To make comprehensive studies of demographic data and expected demographic trends and propose policies that affect specific and quantitative population goals;
c) To organize and implement programs that will promote a broad understanding of the adverse effects on family life and national welfare of unlimited population growth;
d) To propose policies and programs that will guide and regulate labor force participation, internal migration and spatial distribution of population consistent with national development;
e) To make family planning a part of a broad educational program;
f) To encourage all persons to adopt safe and effective means of planning and realizing desired family size so as to discourage and prevent resort to unacceptable practice of birth control such as abortion by making available all acceptable methods of contraception to all persons desirious of spacing, limiting or preventing pregnancies;
g) To establish and maintain contact with international public and private organizations concerned with population problems;
h) To provide family planning services as a part of over-all health care;
i) To make available all acceptable methods of contraception, except abortion, to all Filipino citizens desirious of spacing, limiting or preventing pregnancies.
Section 5. Duties and Functions of the POPCOM. The POPCOM shall have the following duties and powers:
a) To employ physicians, nurses, midwives to provide, dispense and administer all acceptable methods of contraception to all citizens of the Philippines desirous of spacing, limiting or preventing pregnancies: Provided, That the above mentioned health workers, except physicians, for the purpose of providing, dispensing and administering acceptable methods of contraception, have been trained and authorized by the POPCOM in consultation with the appropriate licensing bodies;
b) To undertake such action projects as may be necessary to promote the attainment of this Decree and to enter, in behalf of the Republic of the Philippines, into such contracts, agreements or arrangements with government or private agencies as will be necessary, contributory or desirable in the implementation thereof;
c) To undertake, promote and publish information, studies and investigations on Philippine population in all its aspects;
d) To utilize clinics, pharmacies as well as other commercial channels of distribution for the distribution of family planning information and contraceptives;
e) To call upon and utilize any department, bureau, office, agency or instrumentality of the Government for such assistance as it may require in the performance of its functions.
Section 6. Board of Commissioners. All functions and powers of the POPCOM shall be vested in, and exercised by a Board of Commissioners hereinafter referred to as the Board, composed of: Secretary of Education and Culture, Secretary of Health, Secretary of Social Welfare, Dean of the University of the Philippines Population Institute and the Director-General of the National Economic Development Authority.
Section 7. Powers and Duties of the Board. The Board shall have the following powers and duties:
a) To adopt and prescribe policies, rules, regulations and procedures for the government of the POPCOM and to modify, amend or repeal the same;
b) To receive, evaluate, modify and approve project proposals on population matters from whatever source and to coordinate and evaluate their implementation in accordance with the approved plans and programs;
c) To approve the annual and or supplemental budget of POPCOM as may be submitted to it by the Executive Director from time to time; and
To perform such other duties as may be assigned to it by the President of the Philippines.
Section 8. Chairman of the Board, Powers and Duties. The Board shall elect a Chairman from among its members. The Chairman shall have the following powers and duties:
a) To call and preside over the meetings of the Board;
b) To disburse, administer and obligate appropriations of the POPCOM, subject to the Approval of the Board;
c) To appoint, determine the qualifications, fix the number and salaries of such personnel as may be necessary for the proper discharge of the duties and functions of the POPCOM, and, with the approval of the Board, to remove, suspend, or otherwise discipline for just cause, any subordinate employee of the POPCOM;
d) To submit not later than July 31st of each year an annual report, through the Board, to the President of the Philippines, providing copies thereof to the two Houses of Congress;
e) To accept on behalf of POPCOM, gifts, grants or donations and administer, obligate and disburse the same in accordance with the provisions of this Decree;
f) To perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board from time to time;
g) To constitute continuing or ad-hoc committees consisting of members of the Board or such other experts as are deemed necessary to conduct studies for the POPCOM or to assist in the discharge of its functions.
Section 9. Meetings. The Board shall meet at least once every four months or oftener at the call of the Chairman. Three members of the Board shall constitute a quorum and no action of such quorum shall be treated as a valid decision of the Board unless it carries a unanimous vote of the three members present and constituting the quorum. Members of the Board who are government officials shall serve without additional compensation; however, they shall be allowed commutable travelling, representation and other necessary allowances.
Section 10. Executive Director, Powers and Duties. The POPCOM shall have an Executive Director to be appointed by the Chairman, subject to the approval of the Board. The Executive Director shall have the following powers, duties and responsibilities:
a) To act as action officer of the POPCOM;
b) To sit in all meetings of the Board and participate in its deliberations but will not have the right to vote;
c) To be responsible for the operation of the office staff and of the national population program and for making decisions on day-to-day basis subject to the direction and supervision of the Chairman;
d) To prepare periodic review of program progress;
e) To submit annual and/or such supplemental budget estimates to the Board of Commissioners;
f) To recommend policies and programs to the Board, and
g) To perform such other duties as may be assigned to him by the Board from time to time.
Section 11. Personnel. The POPCOM shall have such personnel as may be necessary for the performance of its basic functions and such other personnel as may be assigned or detailed from other agencies of the Government. All positions, except technical and professional staff and such other positions as the Board may declare to be highly technical, policy determining or primarily confidential, shall be subject to Civil Service rules and regulations and coverage of the plans of the Wage and Position Classification Office: Provided, That, all personnel shall be entitled to the benefits and privileges normally accorded to government employees, such as retirements, GSIS insurance, leave and similar matters: Provided, further, That, in the appointment and promotion of employees, merit and efficiency shall serve as basis, and no political test or qualification shall be prescribed and considered for such appointments or promotion: Provided, finally, That the POPCOM shall be the final authority on appeals on personnel matters concerning its professional and technical personnel.
Section 12. Donations. The POPCOM shall be authorized to receive grants, donations or gifts, in whatever form and from whatever sources: Provided, That, said grants, gifts, or donations shall be administered, obligated and disbursed in accordance with the terms thereof, or in the absence of such terms, in such manner as a majority of the Board may in its discretion determine: Provided, finally, That said grants, gifts, donations shall be subject only to such limitations as the grantor, giver or donor may impose as accepted by the POPCOM.
Section 13. Appropriations. The sum of fifteen million pesos is hereby appropriated annually out of any funds in the National Treasury not otherwise appropriated, as operating funds of the POPCOM starting in the fiscal year nineteen hundred and seventy-four: Provided, That, out of this sum shall be disbursed the equivalent of the amount of three hundred fifty thousand dollars as annual contributions of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations Fund for Population Activities; Provided, further, That, at least seventy-five percent of said amount of P350,000 shall be used annually to finance population projects in the Philippines pursuant to this Act which are approved by the United Nations for Population Activities; And provided, finally, That, said amount may be increased or decreased in the succeeding years by POPCOM in accordance with its financial position. This appropriation shall hereafter be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.
Section 14. Repeal. Any and all Acts, Statutes, Rules, Regulations, or parts thereof inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
Section 15. Separability. If for any reason, any part of this Act is declared unconstitutional or invalid, no other provision of this Act shall be affected thereby.
Section 16. Effectivity. This Decree shall take effect immediately.
Done in the City of Manila, this 8th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, nineteen hundred and seventy-two.
(Sgd.) FERDINAND E. MARCOS
President of the Philippines
By the President:
(Sgd.) ALEJANDRO MELCHOR
Source: Malacañang Records Office