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MANILA, Oct. 28, 2011–Even as both chambers of Congress are on a month-long recess from plenary debates, ordinary citizens continue to educate themselves with the truth concerning reproductive health (RH) issues. Yesterday some 200 parents, faculty and non-teaching staff took part in a three-hour symposium on the RH bill at Lourdes School of Quezon City.
Organized by Ms. Eljay Godinez, the school’s Social Action Program Coordinator, under the direct supervision and approval of Rev. Fr. Wilfredo Atienza OFM, campus minister, and Gelvic Bautista Institutional CL/VE Facilitator, the activity was attended by participants from Lourdes School and D. Tuazon Elementary School, who ended up deepening their understanding of the bill’s many aspects and the dangers posed by the proposed measure.
When the chance to ask questions came, a teacher raised his concern as to how people from different parts of the country could be supported when most work opportunities were in Manila.
Carlos Antonio Palad, a staff apologist of Defensores Fidei Foundation and one of the morning’s speakers, clarified the need to support rural areas on both the economic and political field since lack of development and assistance in rural areas results in poverty and, in many cases, illiteracy.
Reynaldo Echavez, M.D., who tackled the health aspects of the legislative measure, emphasized that patients should learn to be more proactive and ask questions instead of merely allowing doctors to do whatever they decide on their own.
Echavez was instrumental in prompting the investigation of a 1995 government-led forced sterilization program carried out on thousands of reproductive-age women. The sterilization was done through Human Chorionic Gonadotrophin or hCG-tainted tetanus vaccines supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO). (CBCP for Life)