Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dingdong Dantes: Youth Ambassador backs RH Bill

Dingdong Dantes, Actor & Youth Ambassador of NCCA

Renowned young actor Dingdong Dantes openly gave his support to the Reproductive Health Bill pending 2nd reading in Congress. Dingdong is not only a good actor & performer but is also a staunch supporter and ambassador for the young people having been a celebrity ambassador of the National Youth Commission together with Jolina Magdangal. Now, as he serves as the Youth Ambassador of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCAA) Dingdong showed what a real ambassador for the youth he is.

Citing below is his message of support read publicly last May 8th during the International Women's Day celebration held by RH advocates in front of the House of Representatives. Both Ms. Lea Salonga, known international superstar and him failed to come to the event but sent their solidarity messages. While reading aloud his statement, youth leaders from different youth organizations (community/people's, young professionals, medical/healthcare) praised with much vigor. 

As a young leader myself, I laud Dingdong for being open in his support that would encourage more young people to step up for their rights and claim their reproductive & sexual health. This open gesture welcomes more supporters to be more loud about their support for the passage of the well-talked about RH Bill.

I am for a Well-Informed and Empowered Filipino Youth

“Forty-four percent (44.3%) of all pregnancies in the Philippines are unplanned, because of the lack of information on family planning services,” states a 2003 NDHS study by the NSO. Meanwhile, the Allan Guttmacher Institute puts the “incidence of induced abortion in the country at around 500,000 annually.”

“Reproductive health education in schools becomes all the more imperative, especially when young people, in a 2002 Young Adult Fertlity and Sexuality Study 3 conducted by the UP Population Institute & Demographic Institute Research Dev’t. Foundation, showed that only one in every five youth (or 15.7%) freely discuss in their homes issues about sex,” asserted by a group of faculty members at the Ateneo De Manila University.

“Proper birth spacing reduces the risk of death for newborns and infants by fifty percent (50%),” the World Health Organization (WHO) concludes.

Thus with great clarity in my mind, I support the intent and spirit of RH bill 4244, which is now on its second reading in Congress.

While I believe there are other larger issues that carry greater weight for the bill’s immediate passage, I cannot, by conscience, allow the continued rise of induced abortions, only because almost half of these pregnancies are unplanned, due to lack of information.

Importantly, there is no better way to protect our young people from the risk of being alien to their sexuality and the threat of being careless with their sexual behavior, than by making them understand how to nurture their reproductive health. Because I firmly believe on the need to continuously empower the youth, through the power of education.

And I feel it is more immoral and irresponsible not to do something, when we could, to properly prepare the future of our country.

I admire the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network (RHAN) and all the groups supporting the RH cause, for being steadfast in its advocacy in the face of so much institutional pressure.
Finally, I salute all the women who are taking their stand today, not just for themselves, but for the welfare and well-being of all the women in the Philippines, as the world celebrates the International Women’s Day.

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