BATAAN, Nov. 30, 2011—Following the Annual Mt. Samat Pilgrimage, the youth participants from the diocese of Balanga and other dioceses in the Central Luzon Region solidified their stand against the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill on November 26 in Mt. Samat, Balanga, Bataan.
Jerome Tuazon, a 4th high school student and former staffer of the school paper, Extra, was among the marshals who went around obtaining signatures for the anti-RH bill signature campaign.
His school also conducted a similar signature campaign, Tuazon said.
“Minsan nahihiya din kasi may mga nakiki-argue na tao. Pag nag-sign naman po, may mga nagtatanong din,” the student said.
He explained that first of all, as Christians, people must follow the teachings of the Church about the issue.
“In my own opinion, RH bill is one way of killing [people].”
“Minsan din kasi nasa disiplina ng tao. Kung ayaw nilang lumaki ang pamilya nila, dapat matuto sila ng natural family planning. Useless din naman ang RH bill kung pwede naman disiplinahin ang ating sarili (Sometimes it is all about discipline. If they don’t want a big family, then they must learn natural family planning. No need for the RH bill if we’re able to discipline ourselves),” he said, explaining his opinion on why the measure shouldn’t be passed.
Asked how he knows about and gets updates on the issue, Tuazon said that as a blogger, he always checks the news and as of now, the bill is still a hot topic among bloggers.
For his part, Fr. Joshua Santos, MMHC, the Diocesan Youth Director of Bataan diocese lamented the consequences of an RH law, if passed, on the country’s youth.
“It’s a difficult time for us, especially to the youth. Kapag na-approve ang RH Bill, ‘yung mga values na pinaglalaban natin like purity, chastity, lahat ‘yun maiisantabi at mababale-wala (If the bill will be approved, the values that we are teaching like purity, chastity, all of those will be disregarded). The values of the youth will change,” Santos said.
Balanga is anti-RH
Meanwhile, Balanga Mayor Jose Enrique ‘Jo-et’ Garcia asserted that the city and the government is anti-RH.
“These pills are under group 1 in the list of drugs that are carcinogenic. Galing ‘to mismo sa WHO biennial report of 2005,” he said.
In his message to the youth, Garcia pointed out that “Lahat ng dapat ipatupad ay ipatupad, it can’t just be the rule of the majority but has to be based on the truth and it should uphold the dignity of man.”
The mayor also shared that seven barangays have already passed an ordinance banning the use of contraceptives in their own barangays.
But banning the use of the contraceptives in the city level is still up for approval with the city council.
The mayor also mentioned that the March for Love, March for Life” rally held in March gathered some 7,000 people around the Plaza.
On the other hand, Jay Quicho, a seminarian at the San Carlos Seminary and a former youth minister in the vicariate of Our Lady of the Pillar said that the youth who are pro-RH should weigh the issue and listen to both sides. Being firm in their faith is a must, too.
“Kung Katoliko ka, panindigan mong Katoliko ka. (If you’re a Catholic, you must stand up for your faith),” Quicho said. (Jandel Posion)