Monday, March 15, 2010

Party-list group offers condoms

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 10:25:00

Filed Under: Health, Eleksyon 2010, Elections, Politics

Original Story:

SAN PEDRO, LAGUNA – A labor party-list on Sunday distributed condoms, a symbol of its support for the use of contraceptives in fighting poverty and spread of diseases.

“It is to symbolize our support to the RH {reproductive health} bill,” Ramil Cangayao of the Partido ng Manggagawa {PM} in Southern Tagalog said in a phone interview.

On Sunday, the group led 100 motorcycles and vehicles in a motorcade that went around parts of Cavite, Batangas and Laguna provinces to give away free condoms.

The PM was also responsible for the baskets of condoms delivered to the office of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines in Manila during the commemoration of International Women’s Day.

The PM challenged presidential candidates to make a “categorical stand” supporting the RH bill.

The bill, which promotes the use of both artificial and natural family planning methods, has remained pending in Congress amid the strong opposition of the Catholic Church.

“Candidates, especially for the presidential post, should not fear the supposed clout and negative campaign of pro-life groups for they do not represent the sentiments and votes of the silent majority,” Joy Aguilar, PM-Cavite women coordinator, said in a statement sent to the Inquirer.

Aguilar urged the government to provide the means for natural and artificial family planning that must go together with education on the use of contraceptives in relation to the spread of HIV-AIDS, spacing of children, unwanted pregnancies and teenage pregnancies, among other concerns.

She said their call to push for the RH bill was in view of the Social Weather Stations survey that showed that four of 10 registered voters favored politicians, who back the RH bill.

The survey, conducted from January 21 to 24, found that support for pro-RH bill candidates was 39 percent among Catholics and 34 percent among non-Catholics.

The condom issue heated up when the Department of Health distributed free condoms to thwart the increase of human immunodeficiency virus cases in the country.

This has drawn a strong resistance from the Catholic Church, which viewed the government’s actions as a way of promoting promiscuity.

The PM assailed the presidential candidates “for making vague statements or reversing their previous positions on the RH bill due to the pro-life lobby.”

The group believed the RH bill, if passed, would control the growing population and hence solve poverty, as they also campaign for more jobs, higher wages and affordable housing.

Maricar Cinco, Inquirer Southern Luzon

Original Story:

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