With the recent developments undermining our President, Hon. Benigno S. Aquino III and the Catholic Church on the issue on Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health, various groups commend the President for standing firm on his support for responsible parenthood.
President Aquino earlier said “I am aware there are those who oppose this. But it is my duty as our country’s leader to reach out to all sectors, to talk to them and calmly discuss the issue at hand—even if there are those who have said that I should be excommunicated. We must listen even to those who, as some point out, come close-minded to the discussion. Ultimately, I need to make a stand. I need to follow my conscience, and I need to do what is right.”
“I believe if we have a firm and staunch leader who is not afraid to challenge leaders of various sectors and religion and thus truly believe in the benefits of the enactment of a national policy on responsible parenthood-reproductive health then my organization will support President Aquino on his endeavor.” Said by Dr. Divinagracia, executive director of PNGOC.
PNGOC or the Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare Inc. (PNGOC) is a national umbrella organization with 95-members, national and local based NGOs involved in the promotion of reproductive health care such as maternal and child health, family planning, men’s reproductive health, women empowerment, STI/HIV/AIDS, sexuality education, reproductive and sexual health and gender and development.
PNGOC believes that having a national policy on Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health can address the high rates of maternal and infant deaths in our country. Currently, there are 11 women dying every twenty-four hours due to pregnancy and childbirth-related complications.
Thus, the Philippines have one of the highest Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) in Asia. These deaths can be avoided if more Filipino women have access to reproductive health information and health care.
PNGOC also believes that a Responsible Parenthood-Reproductive Health bill can provide an effective reproductive health education which is age-appropriate, correct and has accurate information on sexuality and reproductive health which will make the youth better aware of their Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR).
Dr. Divinagracia added “Religion is an irrelevant matter when you talk about the lives of the Filipino people. The people want information and services for responsible parenthood and reproductive health whatever their religion maybe.”
“Like you Mr. President, I am a Roman Catholic and I support the RP-RH bill and I am truly grateful for you speaking openly on this matter thus making me and my fellow Catholics more vigilant to fight for its passage.” Said by Dr. Divinagracia.
PNGOC will continue to promote with all its networks of NGOs, partner organizations and communities nationwide to support for the passage of the RP-RH bill.