Saturday, 08 October 2011 00:00
Thousands of people marched through R.T. Lim (formerly Cawa-Cawa) Boulevard towards Western Mindanao State University (WMSU) yesterday to call for a national day of the purple ribbon for Reproductive Health (RH).
The marchers, mostly youth RH campaigners, asked Congress to vote on the RH bill. They also called on Congress to act on the RH bill now since the debate on the controversial bill has already taken more than a decade.
GABRIELA Party List Representative Luzviminda Ilagan said 11 mothers continue to die of pregnancy and childbirth complications daily due to lack of comprehensive services on maternal health and family planning.
The congresswoman issued the statement during a luncheon-press conference with local Zamboanga City-based mediamen held at Sky Park Hotel, German Tower, along Tomas Claudio corner Antonio Orendain St.
"Activity related to women purple and color. Kaya sa Gabriela nga which is related to women organization, purple talaga ang ating color...ito naman, purple ribbon because principally, ang nakikita kasi na pag mayron tayong RH law tulungan talaga ang kababaihan, mga nanay. That's why, purple," Ilagan explained.
She said tha march is another way of showing support of different sectors, solidarity and the number of RH advocates so that the public can see that there is such a gathering about the issue.
"Candle lighting is symbolic naman siya because of the maternal death and delay of the passage of RH bill and number of women dying. We lighted candles to show that we are not losing hope for the implementation of RH."
Mr. Cecil Abuy, Population Commission (PopCom) regional office 9 information officer, said the nationally coordinated even is expected to mobilize thousands of supporters from community-based youth organizations, students, health workers and professionals, business and interfaith groups and local government units.
In a related development, RH advocates in Legaspi City also held a parade at the Penaranda Park as early as 6:30 in the morning and they motorcade to naga City, where a forum with city officials and RH supporters was held in the afternoon. Another motorcade around Naga City was also organized after the forum.
In Cebu City, a multi-sectoral forum and motorcade were also organized in the afternoon yesterday.
Meanwhile, RH advocates in Central Luzon converged in Angeles City for the Purple Ribbon March and a rally along Henson St. in the afternoon. At the National Capital Region (NCR), student councils from top universities in Metro Manila joined more than 300 youth from different communities at the AS steps, University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City at 5 p.m.
As part of the pro-RH campaign, a simultaneous candle lighting ceremony took place at 6 p.m. natiowide to highlight reproductive health issues of young people and the importancen of the passage of RH bill on the future of the Filipino youth.
To recall, the nationally coordinated purple ribbon for RH event was held September 7, 2011 in the Senate gate and in the cities of Baguio, Davao, and Iloilo where thousands participated in various mass actions for the RH bill.
By Hader Glang
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