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PIA Press Release

Increasing media awareness on reproductive health noted

by RG Alama

Davao City (1 June) -- A growing support and awareness on reproductive health issues has been noted by the non-governmental organization, the Philippine Legislators' Committee on Population and Development.

"Sagad ang awareness ng media," (awareness by the media is in the extreme.) Maida Ojeda, media officer of PLCPD, describes the national media's awareness and support on reproductive health. She describes that all forms of media from TV, radio, print had been very supportive in their cause.

Ojeda cites last 2010 elections when reproductive health and population was mainstreamed by the media as one of the issues for discussion among the many political candidates. A growing awareness by the media also reflected an equal growth in the consciousness of the public.

This consciousness might have shattered the myth of a Catholic vote when a very strong supporter of the RH bill, Senator Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino is anticipated to be proclaimed as the country's next President.

Senator Noynoy was very firm on supporting the Reproductive Health bill, there were others who backed out of supporting the bill, but he (Aquino) maintained his stand, Ojeda said.

According to Ojeda these successes will be measured when the RH bill will be passed. Currently a deluge of first-time legislators elected into congress has reduced the number of pro-RH legislators from 200 plus to only about 70.

Meanwhile to further drum up media support, the PLCPD will be rolling out the 6th Population and Development Media Awards which aim to give distinction to exemplary news articles, photos, reportage, blogs about population and reproductive health issues.

Ojeda said that submitted entries to the awards can be a gauge on media's support for its causes. For example, in 2005 when the maiden staging of the awards was held there were about a hundred plus entries. The number of entries for 2009 had a significant 345% from 2005.

Ojeda added that aside from quantity, the quality of submitted works has also improved. According to the award's board of judges, they noticed that contents of the articles were getting better, well-written and well-researched.

In the past we would have to approach them (the media) now they are the ones coming to the office asking for our data especially on the salient points of the reproductive health bill. (PIA XI) [top]

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