Friday, May 27, 2011

Purple Ribbon Goes to the Streets in Support of RH Bill

RH advocates are bringing the Purple Ribbon campaign down to the communities. The goal according to the group is to create purple streets where the residents are fully aware and understand what the RH Bill is all about.

“After the successful launch a few weeks ago, we have to spread the message to fellow Filipinos particularly those who are more affected by the worsening RH situation of the country,” said Mr. Benjamin de Leon, President of Forum for FP and Development and NGO advocating for the passage of the RH Bill. “We don’t just attach stickers in their homes, we explain and listen to what they have to say. Unlike the pulpit wherein only one side gets to speak.” De Leon added.

The activity is organized together with Zone One Tondo Organization (ZOTO) and Catholics for RH (C4RH). Members of ZOTO and C4RH have begun talking to residents of a barangay in Navotas and according to them, nearly all the homes visited support the RH Bill and are proud to put up the purple ribbon sticker even before they could talk about the RH Bill. “Thanks to the media, there is great awareness for the RH Bill currently being debated in Congress. They support the measure even before we could share information to them.” Butch Ablir, Executive Director of ZOTO said. “But having worked in the communities for decades, I know how the poor is affected. Buhay nila ang labis na naapektohan ng napakatagal ng debateng ito.” Ablir added.

Studies by the Asian Development Bank and the National Statistics Office have shown how poverty incidence increases as the family size increases. “It’s just common sense. That is why majority of Filipino parents and would be parents would like to be able to have their desired family size in order to provide a better life for their families especially their children.” Luz Frances Chua, National Coordinator for C4RH said. “Our other problem with the anti-RH group is that they make it all about contraceptives. RH is so much more than this but they can’t argue beyond the contraceptives issue because they know that the bill will truly improve health and well-being.” Chua added.

The group said that they are going to other provinces as well through their network and partners in other communities. The group is also promoting the Wear-Purple-Tuesday in order for ordinary people to show their support for the RH Bill. “I also don’t mind if people start wearing purple to mass on Sundays. In fact, it would be better.” De Leon said.
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