Congress on RH – ANYARE?
The facts are in your face: Filipino children lose 11 mothers a day. 1 out of every 3 girls becomes pregnant before her 21st birthday. The Philippines, along with Armenia, Bangladesh, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Krygyzstan, and Tajikistan, is one of only seven countries remaining with rising cases of HIV/AIDS.
We’ve also cleared up the anti-RH bull: Sex ed, according to UN studies, has never made young people more promiscuous in any country employing it. Contraception is not abortion, as masturbation is not murder. P3 billion for essential, life-saving reproductive health services is only one tenth of almost P30 billion of useless unprogrammed government funds in danger of corruption.
In the face of these hard realities, however, anti-RH legislators continue to bastardize the legislative process of the RH Bill and delay its vote. In fact, last November 29, 2011, out of desperation, LeyteRep. Sergio Apostol cowardly left the session hall during his schedule for interpellation to evade a losing debate with Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao and once again delayed the bill. His excuse? He had to have merienda for an hour. Upon Apostol’s return, mothers watching the session naturally flared up and yelled, “Walang demokrasya rito!” The mothers were asked to leave.
The Reproductive Health and Gender Advocates (RH AGENDA), a pro-RH student group composed of 27 university-recognized organizations and student councils representing thousands of students from De La Salle University, University of the East, Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Muntinlupa, Ateneo de Manila University, and five campuses of the University of the Philippines (Diliman, Manila, Los Banos, Miag-ao, and Iloilo City), condemns the delays to the RH Bill and calls on Congress to vote on RH before December 15 this year.
We are tired of the petty tactics used by anti-RH legislators to delay the vote on the RH Bill, in effect making Congress undemocratic. We do not understand why, given the situation of youth and adolescent reproductive health in the country, Congress remains stubborn and deaf to the cries of young people. We cannot tolerate the fact that this bill has been in Congress for at least a decade yet it has remained a proposed law. Congress, ANYARE NA SA RH BILL?
In light of this, the youth and students will take drastic action.
While the Catholic Church pretends to have a Catholic vote, the youth vote – consisting of 30 million young Filipinos – is real. We will actively campaign in 2013 AGAINST all anti-RH legislatorsseeking reelection or election into any other office, beginning with the decaying old men of Team Delay:
Samar Rep. Raul Daza; Cebu Rep. Pablo Garcia; Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol; and Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing;
and the “9 young legislators” or 9YL who merely serve as a veil of youth to the anti-RH camp’s anti-youth agenda:
PL-Buhay Rep. Irwin Tieng; PL-Buhay Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr.; Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua; Cebu Rep. Rachel Marguerite Del Mar; Cebu Rep. Gabriel Quisumbing; Lanao del Norte Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo; Leyte Rep. Lucy Gomez; Davao Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles; and Marinduque Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco.
We demand from House Speaker Sonny Belmonte a vote on the RH Bill before December ends. While we thank the Speaker of the House for listening to the youth by publicly declaring that the RH Bill shall be a priority bill of Congress, he must now deliver his promise. We demand that he stop the RH debates and interpellations and call for a vote on the RH Bill NOW, before the end of the year.
We will OCCUPY CONGRESS and vigilantly participate in its proceedings. On December 7, we call on all our fellow Filipino youth and students to attend the session in the House of Representatives to show to our congressmen the reality of the youth supporting the RH Bill.
The RH Bill’s largest beneficiary is OUR GENERATION. The RH Bill’s passage or non-passage will determine OUR FUTURE. This is OUR LAW. This is OUR CONGRESS. And we have made OUR CHOICE.
CONGRESS, SHUT THE FUCK UP AND VOTE ON THE RH BILL NOW!
 Almost P30 billion of unprogrammed funds identified by Alternative Budget Initiative of Social Watch Philippines