Before the new year came to be, a bold political move happened that changed the world for many, as a politician stood up for the right thing against serious pressure.
The reproductive health bill calls for mandatory sex education and requires the government to pay for contraceptives and family planning services for poor people. The United Nations has said it will help reduce poverty among the fifth of the nation's 104 million people who live in slum conditions.The President had been confronted with some serious threats. He could be excommunicated. In a society largely Catholic, he would be shut out of churches around the country, or so they said.
Somehow, he found the political courage to do the right thing.
We don't often see real political courage, but the victory in the Phillipines is a big example of someone risking their standing to do the right thing.
Thousands of religious protested. Famous Athletes came out swinging.
In August, more than 9,000 nuns, priests and churchgoers dressed in red held rallies in Manila in an attempt to derail the legislation. "Whether or not an individual should live in this world should not be placed in the hands of his fellow men," boxing champ Pacquiao said during a congressional debate Dec. 12. "Only God has power over this."It's amazing at times when a politician can stand up to the throng in favor of science and reason.
Aquino, 52, endured the possibility of excommunication from the church and criticism from boxing champion Manny Pacquiao and former first lady Imelda Marcos to win support for the health bill. His approval rating is the highest for a president since actor Joseph Estrada in 1999, buoyed by efforts to fight corruption and tackle an entrenched culture of tax evasion.http://philippines.ucanews.com/...
“Aquino managed to resurrect and rally support for controversial measures in which his predecessors had failed,” Ramon Casiple, executive director of the Manila-based Institute for Political and Electoral Reform, said yesterday. “His advocacy of these bills was personal and more than ministerial. He made good on his promises and proved that he’s reform- oriented.”
Today is January 1, 2013 in the Phillipines. And today, in 2013, the Phillipines mark the new year with mandatory sex education, free condoms and a move toward reason.
President Aquino may not be right on all issues, but on this one he showed a serious amount of political bravery doing something that most thought couldn't be done. While the public in the Phillipines favored such a move, most politicians avoided it.. because those with money, donations and power didn't. And the threat of the church was real and serious.
But tonight things are different in the Philippines. Their population will be safer. For most, Sex a basic human need, will no longer be taxed with condoms that many couldn't afford. Sex will be safer.
Don't worry for those of you in the US. I can promise you we aren't going to do anything like that. Condoms will still be $5-$10 on average for a box (about $1.00-$3.00 each depending on brand) at your local super store, not counting the sales tax and the fact you can't cover the most scientifically proven method of disease PREVENTION with most insurance coverage.
But in the Phillippines tonight, a leader stood up to the people who came after him, and there are a lot of families who will be grateful.
For them tonight, Love tonight won't be taxed. It won't have an extra cost. And their risks will be less.
What a way to ring in the new year.