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December 16, 2012 / emmanintheworld

Dear Senators of the Philippines

For years, it seemed like the Reproductive Health Bill was stuck in the slow-moving legislative process of the Philippines. That all changed last week with the voting on the bill’s 2nd reading in the House of Representative and President Aquino’s certification of the bill as urgent.

It’s expected that the voting in the Senate would be as intense and close as the last Wednesday’s vote in the House of Representatives. I’m just hoping that each senator’s explanation won’t be as illogical as some of the congressmen’s.

No more predictions of the crash of the Philippine economy, loss of morality, and, god forbid, the start of the “sexual revolution”. As amusing as some of these “arguments” are, I hope that you are not that stupid to say these in national television. You are, after all, voted by all Filipinos and not just people living in specific districts.

I’m also hoping you won’t bring up the “kung may RH Bill nung panahon ng magulang ko, wala sana ako dito” argument. Contraception may stop the sperm from meeting the egg but so does the natural family planning that the Church promotes. If you timed having sex during the times when your wife is infertile, then aren’t you intentionally preventing the meeting of the sperm and the egg?

Also, please don’t vote against the bill because you are against the teaching of sex education to students. Sex education is badly needed here because the HIV/AIDS rate is exponentially growing, which is opposite of what’s happening around the world. People should be taught about the sexually-transmitted diseases that they could get in order to stress the importance of contraception.

With the perception that sex education is an immoral thing to teach to children, remember that it is not just about the act of sex itself. Students would be taught the proper names and functions of their sexual organs. Age-appropriate sex education also means teaching students where babies are from, what to do if you’re menstruating, and how puberty changes a person.

This kind of knowledge is important in a country where a penis is called “putotoy” and a vagina is called “kiki”. It’s important in a country where people think that the kissing can give you sexually-transmitted diseases.

And it’s especially  important in a country where women are ashamed to speak up against sexual abuse because, somehow, it becomes their fault for being groped, harassed, or even raped.

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