March 13, 2010
The labor party-list Partido ng Manggagawa (PM) challenged the candidates in the elections, especially the presidentiables, to make a categorical stand in favor of reproductive health in view of the SWS survey showing voters’ support for pro-RH contenders. “We call on national to local candidates to make a stand for the RH bill and the Filipino voters will stand by you in the election. The candidates who say they are pro-poor and pro-women should make this motherhood slogan concrete by uncompromising support for reproductive health,” stated Judy Ann Miranda, PM secretary-general.
The demand for reproductive health and condom distribution will be part of the issues to be raised in a PM-sponsored massive motorcade of 100 motorcycles and vehicles that will traverse the Calabarzon region tomorrow. The “Motorcade para sa Trabaho, Sahod, Pabahay at Kalusugan” will start at the Cavite Economic Zone in Rosario at 7:00 a.m. then pass through the industrial towns of Cavite, Laguna and Batangas. The motorcade will make a stop at the covered court of Barangay 5, Tanauan, Batangas where an assembly of some 1,000 workers and urban poor will discuss the issues of high prices, wage increase, affordable housing and reproductive health among others. The motorcade will end in Carmona, Cavite.
Miranda argued that “The candidates especially the presidentiables should not fear the supposed clout and negative campaign of pro-life groups for they do not represent the sentiments and votes of the silent majority. The government must provide the means for natural and artificial family planning that must go together with education on the use of contraceptives in relation to the spread of HIV-AIDS, spacing of children, unwanted pregnancies, and teenage pregnancies, among others”
PM has declared its uncompromising position on the issue of condom distribution and reproductive health. Last Monday, women members of the party-list group picketed the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines office in Intramuros, Manila and delivered baskets of condoms in a symbolic protest. PM is running for the party-list elections on a platform of “Apat na Dapat” which means regular jobs, living wage, affordable housing and healthcare coverage for all.
Miranda lambasted the presidentiable candidates for making vague statements or reversing their previous positions on the RH bill due to the pro-life lobby. “What leadership can we expect from these presidentiables if they cave in to the lobby of vested interests? We hope they recover some spine in the face of the clear mandate from voters in favor of the RH bill,” she insisted.