Solons, youth coalition: Use RH budget for education, jobs, healthcare

Solons, youth coalition: Use RH budget for education, jobs, healthcare

by UA&P News Desk on September 28, 2011 - 6:35 pm

NINE young Congress members and a youth coalition called on lawmakers to put the reproductive health (RH) bill’s proposed P3-billion budget to better use.

At the launching event of Youth United for the Philippines (YUP!) coalition, the legislators reiterated their manifesto published in major dailies on September 26, favoring measures that promote education, jobs, and healthcare for all.

Quirino representative Dakila Carlo E. Cua said the proposed budget for the bill is “not something we can afford as a nation.”

“We are not blind, we are not deaf, we see the needs of our country, we all know we can use better mass transit, we all know we can use more school buildings … there are many things our country needs before we can even try to dream spending for contraceptives,” Cua said.

Lanao del Norte Representative Fatima Aliah Dimaporo also mentioned how the proposed RH budget can be used to solve “immediate problems.”

“Will the proposed Php3-billion budget be put into generating jobs, into improving education, into more scholarships, and into training birth attendants and health practitioners? Let’s stop going around the problem and go straight to the solution,” Dimaporo said.

The lawmakers’ group was composed of Cua, Rep. Lucy Gomez (Leyte, 4th District), Rep. Fatima Aliah Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte, 2nd District), Rep. Rachel Marguerite Del Mar (Cebu, 1st District), Rep. Gabriel Quisumbing (Cebu, 6th District), Rep. Mariano Michael Velarde Jr. (PL-Buhay), Rep. Karlo Alexei Nograles (Davao City, 1st District), Rep. Irwin Tieng (PL-Buhay), and Rep. Lord Allan Jay Velasco (Marinduque, Lone District).

The group’s manifesto stated that “large populations, when empowered by opportunity and reliable governance, are assets to economic growth.”

Gomez also told participants in the youth rally at the University of Asia and the Pacific to “remember what we are fighting for.”

“Human beings are assets and not liabilities. The true wealth of a nation is really in its people,” Gomez said.

The YUP! youth rally convened more than 300 young people. One of the University’s student organizations, CATALYST, organized the event and is a founding member of YUP!.

Last July UA&P published a statement opposing bills that “trample on the right to conscientious objection” and that “promote the use of abortifacients” and an “anti-life lifestyle.” Over 1,000 UA&P students also signed a separate yet similar statement written by the school’s student council.

Former TV host Christine Jacob-Sandejas hosted the event.

According to the group’s Facebook page, YUP! is a coalition of youth organizations and young individuals that advocate “real long-term progress for the Philippines.” The group believes that “through correct reasoning, ethics, and a positive type of activism, young Filipinos can actualize the future they deserve.”

The coalition’s members also include the UA&P Student Executive Board, World Youth Alliance–Asia Pacific, Live Pure Movement, Pro-Life Youth Philippines, Ang Kapatiran, Couples for Christ – Foundation for Family and Life, FLiQ Media, Y-Fam Woodrose, Universitas, YouthPinoy and students from the University of the Philippines Diliman and De La Salle University.

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