Solons link cervical cancer deaths to non-passage of RH bill | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor

Solons link cervical cancer deaths to non-passage of RH bill | The Daily Tribune – Without Fear or Favor.


Advocates of the contro-versial Reproductive Health (RH) bill yesterday lamented the current delay in the passage of the measure even as they said the delay could lead to the deaths of more women due to cervical cancer.

According to Gabriela Rep. Emmerenciana de Jesus and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin, the slowdown in deliberations on the bill would mean that more Filipino women may die because of cervical cancer.

De Jesus stressed the importance for Congress to pass the RH measure after Dr. Belinda Panares, head of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City and an advocate of cervical cancer prevention since 1997, claimed that poor knowledge about the cervical cancer led to worst cases of the disease.

“It just shows the real state of women’s reproductive health. A national law should really be passed to ensure information and services to prevent reproductive diseases. Surely, women from poor families comprise majority of cervical cancer victims,” said De Jesus after Pañares claimed that 12 Filipino women die because of cervical cancer.

For her part, Garin, a doctor by profession, said the proposed RH law will help address the cervical cancer by giving Filipino women enough education and information about the disease.

“That’s why RH education is needed. Prominent causes of cervical cancer are at an early age of first sexual contact and multiple sexual partners. A lot of youth and women do not know the risks of premarital sex and promiscuous partners, thus the increase in cervical cancer cases. It’s also a sad thing because while this is a preventable kind of cancer, a lot of information has been withheld from the stakeholders,” Garin said.

Pañares said cervical cancer is preventable, but it takes a woman’s life every two minutes around the world.

She said 80 percent of women get the human papillomavirus (HPV) causing cervical cancer in their lifetime.

The country has over 700,000 women diagnosed with cervical cancer every year, she noted.

Earlier, Zambales Rep. Milagros Magsaysay and Citizens Battle Against Corruption party-list Rep. Cinchona Cruz-Gonzales appealed to President Aquino to help bring down the price of expensive vaccine against cervical cancer so that underprivileged women can afford it.

They also underscored the need for the government to intensify the information drive against cervical cancer whose vaccine costs around P3,000 to P5,000 per shot or P9,000 to P15,000 for three sessions.

Meanwhile, youth delegates to the annual Diocesan Youth Day held in Daet, Camarines Norte province, added their opposition to the RH bill by signing a statement rejecting the proposed measure being deliberated in Congress.

A total of 490 delegates representing 18 parishes and four quasi-parishes of Daet Diocese met on April 28 to 30 to hold the annual diocesan Youth Day and celebrate the CBCP Year of the Youth.

Through the statement, the youth appealed to the “legislators to abandon the controversial and faulty Reproductive Health bill and strongly endorse (only) those bills and resolutions that uphold and protect life and the rights of the unborn child.”

The delegates identified the problems present in the pending bill which include violation of the value of life; violation of moral values and principles; and a violation of the younger generation’s value for true freedom.

They also expressed concern on the effect of the RH bill on their own future and of the coming generations.

The youth asked the President and members of Congress and Senate to listen to their words, even as they appeal to “love us genuinely, fight for our future unselfishly and let us live freely.”

The manifesto titled “Statement of the Youth of the Diocese of Daet on RH bill,” was signed by all the delegates and turned over to the representatives of the two districts of Camarines Norte.

Gerry Baldo

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