MANILA, Nov. 29, 2011—Some 500 students from in and around Alabang, Muntinlupa City flocked to the Tuloy sa Don Bosco Street Children Village in Muntinlupa recently to join the pep rally organized for young pro-life lawmakers by Youth United for the Philippines (YUP).
Tuloy sa Don Bosco was founded in 1993 to rescue street children and give them a home, direction, and the skills they will need in the real world. The very same ideal rests on the core principle of what YUP was founded upon – “YUP! to education, YUP! to jobs & YUP to healthcare for all and No to RH bill!” was the standard chant.
Hosted by Christine Jacob-Sandejas, Patrick Lim and basketball superstar Chris Tiu, the energy-packed event was attended by delegates from Muntinlupa National High School, Muntinlupa Science High School, Pedro E. Diaz High School, Muntinlupa Business High School, Pamantasan ng Muntinlupa, University of Asia and the Pacific, Homeschoolers Association of the Philippines, GCF South Metro Christian School, Linden Tree School Philippines, De La Salle Zobel, Elizabeth Seton School, PAREF Woodrose School, PAREF Southridge School, and students from Tuloy sa Don Bosco.
Among the solons who make up the Nine Young Legislators (9YL) who made the pro-life declaration and who were present at the pep rally were Dakila Carlo Cua (Quirino, lone district), Allan Velasco (Marinduque, lone district), Fatima Aliah Dimaporo (Lanao del Norte, 2nd district), Karlo Alexei Nograles (Davao City, 1st district), and Irwin Tieng and Mariano Michael Velarde, Jr., both of Buhay Partylist.
Other 9YL members are Lucy Torres-Gomez (Leyte, 4th district), Rachel Marguerite del Mar (Cebu, 1st district), Gabriel Quisumbing (Cebu, 6th district).
Cua reminded the students of the experience of densely populated yet prosperous nations.
“Singapore, New York, Hong-kong… Overpopulation is not the cause of poverty and that is common sense,” the Quirino congressman said.
Dimaporo, on the other hand, emphasized the government’s duty to prioritize that which is most crucial to the youth.
“The policies of the government should support education,” the lawmaker from Mindanao pointed out.
For Tieng, the six-year comprehensive sex education program included in the RH bill — which will be carried out in all private and public schools should the measure be enacted into law — cannot be treated as just another academic subject due to its sensitive nature.
“Sexuality education must be handled with care and must be taught in the home,” he said.
P3 billion should finance real causes of poverty
In an official anti-RH statement released in major broadsheets in September, the 9YL explained that P3 billion — the proposed annual budget for the RH bill — is a huge amount of taxpayers’ money and will be more useful in addressing the poor’s lack of access to education, employment opportunities and better health care, which are the real causes of poverty.
“The proposed P3 billion appropriation for the RH bill, if put towards education, can help secure the future of young Filipinos. That amount can build 4,644 new classrooms…or it can subsidize the college education of 300,000 scholars — a chance for underprivileged student achievers to earn their diploma.”
“With precious few teachers fighting the good fight in our public schools, P3 billion can fund the salaries of 13,000 additional teachers to boost up their ranks,” the statement continued.
The legislators also said that the amount would be better off used for providing job opportunities to the poor, whose financial stability will be bolstered by gainful employment. Part of this will be the provision of better skills training, the development of farm-to-market roads, and programs such as micro-lending funds to empower small businesses.
The statement also zeroed in on the need to prioritize health services for the poor, including provision of PhilHealth coverage, building and maintenance of birthing facilities, and carrying out family nutrition programs. (CBCP for Life)