Statement of the Commission on Human Rights lauding the House support for initiatives promoting and improving dental health

Statement of the Commission on Human Rights lauding the House support for initiatives promoting and improving dental health

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) welcomes the commitment of the House of Representatives to prioritise measures, which will allow Filipinos to better access dental health in their respective localities.

House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez has recently expressed his support for initiatives, which promote health education and access to dental care. Particularly, he mentioned that the 19th Congress is pushing for legislations which guarantee that “every city and municipal health unit includes a dental service as part of its primary health care offering.”[1]

The Commission remains firm that access to oral health is a human rights issue. Across the globe, it is evident that dental services are still disproportionately limited, especially for the vulnerable populations. A rights-based approach to every Filipino’s access to safe and affordable public health services is incumbent upon the duty-bearers to ensure that policies and mechanisms are in place for a stable health system structure.

Through the recently passed Universal Health Care Act, or Republic Act No. 11223, the Philippine government emphasised the need for all citizens to be “granted immediate eligibility and access to […] dental […] health services, delivered either as population-based or individual-based health services.” It is, therefore, a duty of the Congress to craft policies and programs, which primarily protect and promote the right of Filipinos to accessible and safe dental health services.

In upholding a people-oriented approach for the delivery of health services, the Commission is one with the Philippine government in ensuring that all Filipinos are provided with adequate support through the efforts of duty-bearers to craft laws which directly respond to this concern. After all, included in our inherent right to health are services which also prioritise oral health, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, and gender, among others.###

[1] Speaker vows House support for initiatives to promote dental health of every Filipino | 14 May 2024 https://www.congress.gov.ph/press/details.php?pressid=13062