Youth to 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 countries like Kazakhstan, is one of only seven countries remaining with rising cases of HIV/AIDS.
In the face of these hard realities, however, ANYARE NA SA BOTOHAN?
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, Leyte Rep. Sergio Apostol cowardly left the session hall during his schedule for interpellation to evade a losing debate with Akbayan Rep. Kaka Bag-ao, in effect delaying again the bill. His excuse? He had to have merienda for one full hour. Upon Rep. 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 organizations and student councils representing thousands of students from DLSU, ADMU, UE, PLMun, and five campuses of UP, condemns the delays to the RH Bill and calls on Congress to vote on RH before December 15 this year.
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 legislators seeking 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 in truth are anti-youth (PL-Buhay Reps. Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr., Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua, Cebu Reps. Rachel Marguerite Del Mar and 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. We demand that he stop the RH debates and interpellations and call for a vote on the RH Bill NOW.
We will OCCUPY CONGRESS and actively 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.
CONGRESS, SHUT UP AND VOTE ON THE RH BILL NOW!
Juan Carlo P. Tejano
College of Social Sciences and Philosophy Student Council
University of the Philippines