Sen. Lapid urged: Be a women’s champion!

News Release
20 September 2011

Pia’s shoutout to Sen. Lapid: ‘Join us, be a champion of women’s causes!’
Transcript of interview with Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Sponsor, SBN 2865, ‘Reproductive Health Act of 2011’
Chairperson, Committee on Health and Demography
Topic: Sen. Lito Lapid’s questions about RH Bill

Q: Mam, Senator Lito Lapid has questions about the RH Bill pero medyo may difficulty sya about the language being used, which is English…

SPSC: Ok, di mag-Tagalog na lang kami. Wala namang problema yun.

Q: So you’re willing to give that accommodation?

SPSC: Of course, di ba paminsan-minsan naman, pag ine-emphasize ko, para bigyang-diin ko yung mga paliwanag ko, tina-Tagalog ko nga eh, walang problema yun. Tanggap naman po natin yung Filipino tsaka yung English bilang ating modes of communication di ba? So walang problema yun.

Q: One of the issues daw that he wants to ask is whether contraceptives can cause birth defects…

SPSC: Sige, I’ll be happy to explain that to him. In fact, we’ve put on record the side-effects of contraceptives, which is public [knowledge]. Katulad naman po ng lahat ng klaseng gamot, ultimo yung pang-headache lang, di ba yung mga paracetamol? Ultimo yung para sa sakit ng tyan, lahat yan may side-effects. So pati sa contraceptives, it’s on record. And that’s why, in our bill, there has to be consultation in order to determine which is the best one for you.

Q: So handa po kayong magpaliwanag sa kanya in Tagalog?

SPSC: Oo, ang Filipino and English ay tanggap naman na modes of debates dito. So walang problema yun.

Q: So ano po ang maipapayo n’yo kay Sen. Lapid, na huwag po siyang mahiya o matakot magtanong?

SPSC: Actually, pag pinapaliwanag ko itong batas na ito sa mga kababaihan, karamihan naman sa kanila ay galing din sa rural areas, sa depressed areas, sanay naman po akong magpaliwanag sa Filipino. Kasi ang paliwanag din nila sa problema nila, Filipino din. So actually, kumportable po tayo dyan. Ang hindi ko lang mata-Tagalog ay yung mga medical terms. Pero kahit naman yun hindi ko rin naman lahat naiintindihan, binabasa ko lang naman yung medical definition, kaya ko namang i-translate yun.

Q: Actually ang sabi po nya, mas kumportable raw po sila sa inyo kaysa kay Sen. Santiago. Na kung mag-i-interpellate man sya, parang mas gusto niya na kayo na ang maka-debate…

SPSC: Sa totoo lang, mas mabait pa nga sa akin si Sen. Miriam eh. (laughs) Pero I’m sure, kahit sino sa amin, mas gusto pa nga namin yung nagtatanong. Natutuwa nga kami na nagsasabi sya na meron syang mga gustong ipaliwanag. I’m very happy to hear that, ibig sabihin, may open mind.

Oo, tsaka idagdag ko na rin, napakahalaga po para sa akin, naghahanap po kami ng mga kalalakihan na magiging champion ng mga kababaihan. Kasi po, as far as I am concerned, this is a discrimination issue. Kayo namang Senate reporters, you know very well how active I’ve been in the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). And studies [by the IPU] really show that women have very limited participation in policy- and law-making di ba? Kasi around the world, less than 20 percent ang members of Congress na babae.

So now in the Senate, we’re only three of twenty-three, kaya napakahalaga for us na ang mga kalalakihan namin ay gender-sensitive and aware of these gender issues. And this is a very, very important gender issue, kaya I am looking for men who will champion the cause of women with us, with me and Sen. Miriam.

Q: So pwede pala na maging champion ng kababaihan si Sen. Lapid?

SPSC: He’s very welcome to champion the cause of women. Because this is really personal to me. Hindi kaya na women lang ang fighting for women. Not that mahina kami no, but the fact is we need both men and women fighting for the causes of women. #

Photo: Sens. Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Pia Cayetano defensing the RH Bill on Tuesday’s session.

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