Home Agriculture WOMEN URGE P-NOY TO KEEP HIS PROMISE ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

WOMEN URGE P-NOY TO KEEP HIS PROMISE ON REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH

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A group of women advocates remains cautious following reports that reproductive health (RH) bill is at the bottom of this administration’s list of priority legislative agenda. Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP) laments that the RH bill faces the danger of not being included in the final list of priorities of this administration. “While the bill is in the list, according to our information, it is number 26 and the Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) will only get 25 of the 30 proposals in the list. When will our government seriously consider this issue as urgent? Poor women continue to suffer and die because of lack of access to RH information and services.” stressed Angsioco. “This bill has been pending in Congress for 16 long years. It has undergone long and arduous deliberations, numerous stakeholder discussions, and several national and local surveys have been conducted which consistently conclude that a very high percentage of our population wants the RH bill immediately passed,” said Angsioco. ‘Lamentably, this Administration seems to be not keen on holding on to P-Noy’s campaign promise on RH. Skirting the bill in his priority legislative agenda is tantamount to not supporting the issue and not caring for the welfare of poor Filipino women,’ expressed Angsioco. According to her, if P-Noy is indeed supportive of the issue, he must show political will by including prioritizing reproductive health in his policy agenda. The more than forty thousand women members of DSWP spread all over the country do not see why P-Noy should be cowed from including RH in his agenda. Angsioco explained, responsible parenthood is part of his “Social Contract with the Filipino People,” his platform of governance during the elections. He even reiterated his support right after he got back from attending the UN General Assembly. And recently, Malacanang expressed five principles on responsible parenthood, which include giving couples the right to choose how to best manage their families, and that natural and modern methods of family planning be equally available. “We are encouraged whenever P-Noy would announce his support for RH but we have yet to see concrete actions. We hope he will keep his promise to us, remain steadfast, and not be cowed by the threats of some leaders of the Catholic church just like his predecessor. In fact, it is the women that his administration should dialogue with on RH. We were promised during the campaign that RH services, primarily family planning will be pushed by his Presidency. We are the ones that are affected, not the men in robes,” ended Angsioco. xxx

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