Senator Risa Hontiveros said there is nothing pleasurable about having sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and teen pregnancy which can be effects of not using condom. This is after President Rodrigo Duterte said using condom is not “masarap”.
The President, however, urged to use pills and injectables for family planning. “May pills libre. ‘Wag ‘yang condom kasi hindi masarap ‘yang condom. Hindi, totoo. Hindi ako nagpapatawa. Harap nga ng ating Republika eh,” Duterte said during a televised speech when he welcomed OFWs fro Kuwait on February 13.
“President Duterte should stop making thoughtless, reckless and irresponsible statements at the expense of public health,” Hontiveros said.
“Hindi masarap kapag may condom? President Duterte seems to be overly concerned with pleasure. There is nothing pleasurable or funny about the rise in our cases of HIV and teen pregnancy. By disapproving of condoms as a safe and reliable form of contraception, the President is denying the public the widest array of options to plan their families, protect themselves from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and curb the growing number of teenage pregnancies,” Hontiveros said.
Hontiveros, who is the Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, family Relations, and Gender Equality, said the President’s statement is a virtual insistence that women should continue to carry the burden of family planning alone.
“This contradicts one of the aims of the Reproductive Health Law, which he claims to champion, to ensure equality in responsibility as far as family is concerned. This is unacceptable. Men must also do their share and be at par with women in sharing our family planning duty,” Hontiveros said.
“He wants us take him seriously but not literally. What does that even mean? Who interprets him best? So sino mag-aadjust, ang 100 milyong mamamayan ng Pilipinas o siya? When he decided to run as President, his responsibilities were clear. As the highest leader of the land, he is expected to make intelligible public statements that promote progressive policy-making and positive behavioral change, especially those concerning public health,” she said.
Hontiveros is the author of Senate Bill No. 376 or the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Bill which seeks a comprehensive, inclusive and localized response towards HIV-AIDS. She also filed Senate Bill 1482 or the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Act, which calls for the development of a National Program of Action and an investment plan for the prevention of teenage pregnancy.