By Liwliwa Malabed
In a recent bloggers session with Senator Chiz Escudero at Anabel’s Tomas Morato, the senator’s intention to run for the presidency remained as cloudy as the creamy coffee he was drinking.
His stand on the RH Bill, on the other hand, is as clear as your mineral water. The senator is one of the more visible and strong supporters of the RH Bill. However, he states that even if the bill is passed, the President still has the last say with her power to veto the bill. He urged GMA to “just do it” and implement the RH bill when passed. He cites local officials who are able to distribute contraceptives to their constituents without any fanfare.
Escudero emphasized the Philippines’ need for a national reproductive health policy. According to him, 40 Filipinos are born every 12 minutes. These 40 Filipinos will eventually fill one classroom, and for every class, an additional one million pesos is needed for the construction of the room, for the salary of the teacher and for miscellaneous needs, like books. At present, the active population of students lacks 18,000 teachers and 40,000 classrooms. This translates to a multitude of Filipinos deprived of education and threatened by poverty. These numbers speak of the urgency behind the Reproductive Health Bill.
Escudero stressed that planning for your family should come as naturally as planning for your day. Whether you opt for natural or modern family planning, every Filipino should be well-informed. This will allow all of us to make good decisions for ourselves and our families. He added that contraceptives should be made available for those who cannot afford it. “There is no excuse not to plan for your family,” Escudero said.
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