Allow Filipinos to stand by their choice, Says Women’s Group
“Filipinos do not welcome other groups, be it government or religion making the choice for them or limiting the family planning options they can choose from,” says Elizabeth Angsioco, National Chairperson of the Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP).
Reacting to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) Survey showing that 82% of Filipinos think that their choice of family planning method is personal and that no one should interfere, Angsioco stressed that this survey’s result is an affirmation that our people want to make such decisions by themselves.
According to her, the fact that the 1990 survey’s 61% result has jumped by 21% to the present 82% is a clear indication that more of our people are getting convinced about their right to choose and make decisions for themselves on family planning matters. “Note that in the results, the undecided went down from 26% to only 9%, and those who disagree significantly decreased from 13% to 8%,” explains Angsioco.
Moreover, the results indicated that 68% of Filipinos believe that the government should provide funds for all methods of family planning, while only 16% disagree and 15% are undecided.
“The high public approval rating for government-funded family planning program is a very strong reinforcement of similar results from previous surveys conducted by prestigious survey institutions such as SWS and Pulse Asia,” Angsioco said.
“These results show a very clear statement favoring the passage of the 16-year old reproductive health bill still pending in Congress,” she stressed.
The Catholic Bishop Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and its allies’ strong opposition to the RH bill due to their belief that only Natural Family Planning (NFP) Methods should be allowed stirred controversies since the RH bill’s family planning provisions allow all methods including contraception. “The survey results is a glaring indication that the bishops’ position is not supported by the people, and in fact, runs counter to what people want,” emphasizes Angsioco.
Angsioco further states that this survey’s results clearly tell our lawmakers that people want them to pass the RH bill. Adding that lawmakers should not be threatened by the CBCP because in passing the bill, legislators are only responding to what people want and need.
She asserts further, “the results also tell President Aquino that he should not waver in fulfilling his campaign promise on responsible parenthood because his bosses want the bill to pass. PNoy now should turn his media statements into concrete directive to Congress to already vote on the bill.”
“There is no reason why Congress should prolong the process. The RH bill has long been pending for a very long time. Many lives have been wasted, poor women have suffered more than enough due to lack of access to RH services,” she said. “Congress should already vote on the 16-year old RH bill,” Angsioco ended.