The Responsible Parenthood, Reproductive Health and Population and Development Act of 2011, more commonly referred to as the RH Bill, has been the subject of much discussion both on the floor of the Congress session hall and at dinner tables across the nation. At family reunions and office coffee breaks, in groups of clerics and activists, amongst rich and poor alike, every Filipino has an opinion.
But the sector most concerned, most affected by the issue of reproductive health, be it the RH Bill or simply the chance at maternal and child care, is the youth. It is the teenage mother, who at 16 is giving birth to her second child. It is the boy on the cusp of manhood, looking to prove his masculinity. It is the high school student, whispering to her barkada half-truths about condoms and pills and gonorrhea. It is the child, not even ten years old, who hears his parents having sex in the shanty he shares with five other siblings. It is the young woman who wants to wait until her wedding night before losing her virginity.
What do they have to say about reproductive health? Do they have anything to say? Do they want to say anything? Mulat Pinoy wants to know.
The “We Are Right Here. We Are RH.” video contest was launched on July 11, World Population Day. The contest seeks to give young people a say in the matter that affects them most. Young Filipinos aged 25 and below are invited to submit amateur videos between 90 seconds and 8 minutes in length, showing how they feel about the over 3.6 million teenage pregnancies in the Philippines, about condoms and contraceptives, about sex education, about visiting a gynecologist, about premarital sex, about virginity, about anything related to reproductive health. The deadline for entries is September 30, 2011.
“We Are Right Here. We Are RH.” is presented by Mulat Pinoy, in cooperation with the Philippine Center for Population and Development, the Probe Media Foundation, Inc., Forum for Family Planning and Development, the Likhaan Center for Women’s Health, the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development, and the Philippine NGO Council on Population, Health and Welfare, Inc.