Reproductive Health Community Steps Up Support for Secretary Cabral
A Media Statement Released by Reproductive Health Advocates
26 February 2010
We strongly commend the Department of Health under the leadership of Sec. Esperanza Cabral for taking the cudgels to address HIV and AIDS epidemic, this despite the pressures and threats thrown at her by some leaders of the Catholic Church. We are glad that Sec. Cabral and her department remain steadfast in implementing programs that should have been conducted by the government long ago.
With almost 5,000 recorded cases of HIV and AIDS in the country, now is the time for the government to take stronger action.
The World Health Organization has consistently said that condoms are scientifically proven to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Thus, we firmly support condom distribution as part of Philippine response in halting the spread of HIV and AIDS. It will help save the lives of more than 4 million youth who are sexually active.
It is the Government’s responsibility to promote the health of its people and to fulfill its commitment to the Millennium Development Goals that includes combating HIV and AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis. Sec. Cabral is indeed just fulfilling her mandate as public servant.
We thus condemn any interference from any sector, particularly certain religious leaders, that put at risk more lives in the face of the growing epidemic. While we respect moral authority, we strongly believe that HIV and AIDS prevention is a public health concern that should be attended fully by the Department of Health.
We also appeal to Malacañang to allow Sec. Cabral to effectively render her work. Let us allow her to do her work for all Filipinos who need reproductive health education and services.
We call on ordinary citizens to support Secretary Cabral and other dedicated public servants like her.
Democratic Socialist Women of the Philippines (DSWP)
FORUM for Family Planning and Development (FORUM)
Interfaith Partnership for the Promotion of Responsible Parenthood
Linangan ng mga Kababaihan (LIKHAAN)
Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development Foundation, Inc. (PLCPD)
Philippine NGO Council on Population (PNGOC)
Media Advocacy Officer