The online news portal of TV5
MANILA, Philippines - A staged funeral wake for women who died of pregnancy and childbirth complications for lack of reproductive health (RH) services will welcome President Benigno Aquino III as he delivers his State of the Nation Adress (SONA) on Monday.
The protest activity will be staged by the Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) to urge the President to reiterate to Congress the need to pass the Reproductive Health (RH) bill.
The bill remains at the committee level of the House of Representatives, while in the Senate, it has passed on second reading.
Protesters will gather as early as 7 a.m. at the sidewalk near the St. Peter's Parish along Commonwealth Avenue in Quezon City, near the site of the SONA.
They will carry placards bearing the message, “Tama na ang Pangakong Sumasablay, Dumarami na ang Namamatay: RH Bill, Pagbotohan! Ipasa Na!” (Lost Lives, Unfulfilled Promises: Vote on the RH Bill! Pass it Now! )
At the protest site, a purple tent will be erected; it will have a makeshift coffin with a photo of Jocelyn Rizabal, 41, who died from eclampsia in 2011.
"This is to highlight the increased maternal mortality as reported in the latest Family Health Survey, from 162 maternal deaths per 100,000 livebirths in 2006 to 221 in 2011, and calls for the immediate passage of the RH Bill which has been pending in Congress for the last 11 years," PLCPD said.
Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. earlier said that he wanted a vote on the RH bill before the end of the 15th Congress, but some House leader also acknowledged that time is running out for the passage of the bill.