Pangasinan 5th District Representative Kimi Cojuangco, one of the country’s strongest defender of women’s rights and proponent of the Reproductive Health bill in congress today, led the movement dubbed, “The Day of the Purple Ribbon for Reproductive Health: 5th District of Pangasinan Motorcade and Gathering.” On September 23, 2011 the event amassed immense support from various women’s groups and local government units. Cojuangco is a founding member of the Soul Sisters for RH that was recently launched in the city of San Juan, three days before the Purple Ribbon event landed in Pangasinan.
The motorcade covered the whole 5th district of Pangasinan from the municipality of Sison to Bautista and back to Villasis with short stops in every town and city for brief speeches by notable speakers and ceremonial pinning of RH labels to all local executive officials and institution heads. The motorcade kicked-off with a short program at Sison’s town plaza attended by numerous non-government organizations and government bureaus headed by Mayor Mina Joy C. Pangasinan. Also, noticeably during the peaceful rally were the presence of the representatives of the Northern Luzon Adventist College and the tribal organizations of the municipality of Sison who came to show their absolute support for the Congresswoman and the bill.
After Sison, the motorcade advanced to Pozorrubio where a swarm of supporters headed by Mayor Art Chan filled the entire municipal plaza to the brim and in time of the arrival of Provincial Board Member Clemente “Niño” Arboleda who also spoke of his unrelenting support to the cause of the motorcade.
Leaving Pozorrubio with school children gleefully waving their purple flags, the group rushed to Laoac where Mayor Silverio “Boying” Alarcio, Jr. and several women’s groups and Dep-ed people were already waiting, signifying the towns all-out support to the RH bill.
After Laoac, the team dropped by in Binalonan and then to Urdaneta City University. The crowd kept getting bigger and stronger at every stop. Here, the city officials headed by Mayor Amadeo “Bobom” Perez, IV and Vice Mayor Bong Gorospe along with the university president, Ms. Elizabeth Montero, welcomed Rep. Kimi Cojuangco and her group.
This same welcoming attributes were also replicated in the towns of Sto. Tomas, Alcala and Bautista. Mayors Vivien Villar, Atty. Manuel Collado and Amado “Pogi” Espino, III, respectively, extended a grand reception to the motorcade team to manifest their utmost support to the fight that Cojuangco and colleagues brought on to the streets, undaunted by the repercussion that could be imposed on them by one religious sector opposed to the bill.
On both sides of the national highway, purple flags were waved on by pupils and students in front of their schools to also show that they take part in the advocacy that Cojuangco is fighting for.
The final stop was at Villasis where numerous supporters representing the various women’s organizations filled the Villasis auditorium to the top. Mayor Libradita Abrenica, members of the Sanggunian Bayan and the Ladies showed overwhelming support to the RH bill.
The activity was part of an all-out campaign and endeavor to show widespread multi-sectoral support at the grassroots level to impose the immediate passage of the bill which is again continuously procrastinated by the few remaining anti-RH legislators, while the fearful play the waiting game; waiting for the right time to come in to vote and that is when they’ve ensured safety from censure.
Former AKBAYAN Party List Representative Risa Hontiveros also arrived that day to talk on the salient points that concern women and youth. According to Cojuangco, the former representative is the original proponent of the bill sixteen years ago but it never survived in the plenary because of continued delaying tactics employed by the opposition groups until a rest in congress came to stop the debate.
ABONO Party List Chairman Rosendo So pointed out a short view on the shortages of rice supply in the country and the billions worth of importations to augment the needs of the people. Tributary to the observable facts is the unmanaged population in the country.
Dr. Junice Melgar of LIKHAAN, National RH Advocate, clarified delusions on the medical issues that are within the premises of the RH.
Mr. Ramon San Pascual of the Philippine Legislators Committee on Population and Development, Inc. (PLCPD, Inc.) spoke on matters for the passage of the bill.
Other speakers were the famed Elizabeth Ansiangco and Pangasinan II Schools Division Superintendent Viraluz Raguindin.
Local executive heads of the 5th district of Pangasinan expressed their all-out support to the bill. However, one mayor admitted pressure coming from the Catholic Church but this did not impede his decision to participate in the historical event.
The whole activity commenced at 6:00 in the morning to almost sundown the same day. A very successful event that carved a new history towards the passage of the RH bill.
RH BILL NOW NA! Students from Bautista and Pozorrubio repeatedly chanted in unison
Sison Tribal Council
The Kabataan and NLAC delegation