Rikken urges for RH Bill passage by September

“Dapat maipasa na ang Reproductive Health Bill ngayong Setyembre.” (The RH Bill should be passed by September) This was the statement of Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) Chairperson Remedios I. Rikken before a crowd of more than a thousand members of pro-Reproductive Health Bill groups during the World Population Day Celebration at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last July 11, 2011.

With the world population projected to reach seven billion this year, Rikken said the months of July, August and September should be dedicated to expedite the passage of the RH Bill in order to address the country’s ballooning population “emergency.” She added that it is imperative for the pro-RH force to convince both the skeptics and undecided mass into supporting the bill.

Moreover, Rikken urged the participants to use available resources to stir more meaningful discussions on the RH Bill. “Kayong mga kabataan, gamitin ninyo ang inyong Facebook at Twitter (accounts) upang makarating sa lahat ang ating kampanya para maipasa ang RH Bill,” Rikken added. She said popular networking sites can level up discussions among the youth and correct misconceptions about the said measure.

Rikken said that while much has to be accomplished in the next three months, unified and intensified efforts especially from young women and men can accelerate progress.

“Umaasa ako na sa susunod na World Population Day sa 2012 tayo ay magsasaya, magsasayaw sa galak na ang ating isinulong na emergency na ito ay ating mapagtatagumpayan,” Rikken said. (I am hoping that we will be celebrating and dancing with joy during the 2012 World Population Day because we have won the battle to address this emergency.)

At age 76, Rikken joined the rainy Purple March from the Rajah Sulaiman Park to Ninoy Aquino Stadium. Barangay health workers from various LGUs such as Valenzuela City, Quezon City, Pasay City, Paranaque City, Marikina City and Mandaluyong City also joined the march. They all held purple umbrellas to signify their support to the Purple Ribbon for RH movement.

Also present were representatives from the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC)), Commission on Population (PopCom), National Youth Commission (NYC), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Health (DOH), National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), PCW, Likhaan Foundation, RH Advocacy Network, and Forum for Family Planning and Development.

The event also paved way for the launching of the theme song of the Purple Ribbon Movement entitled “Lila” performed by Noel Cabangon and Aia De Leon.