"For ten (10) years, this administration with a woman president at the helm did nothing on health and women's rights issues, but "kill" programs that will help attain the country's international commitments."
In a press conference that followed a forum titled, "Strengthening Partnerships: Fostering People's Collaboration in Achieving the ICPD Programme of Action," held at Club Filipino, attended by leaders of various non-government and civil society organizations and government agencies, former Health Secretary Alberto "Quasi" Romualdez lamented the lack of programs that will help attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action.
According to Dr. Romualdez, the governments' neglect in meeting international commitments, such as the MDGs and ICPD, is very serious. He noted that if we had money to spend for health and family planning programs ten years ago, if we had implemented programs on these areas, then we should not be relying on foreign funding now."
"If only this administration has implemented programs on health, specifically family planning, then the unnecessary death of at least 30 to 40 thousand women who died due to childbirth and pregnancy related complications could have been prevented," laments Romualdez. "Maternal death over the past 10 years is six thousand times the number of deaths in Maguindanao massacre," he added.
Romualdez further emphasized the importance of the coming elections. He said, "it is very important to elect candidates in both national and local positions who are committed to resurrect these international commitments.'
"We should not allow candidates to issue motherhood statements, but we should engage them to have a written specific program of action, on how he or she will meet these international commitments once elected, so they will not be able to get away with it," Romualdez concluded.