DO IT RIGHT! This is the call of a new campaign spearheaded by a coalition of 11 organizations, designed to encourage everyone to take a stand in what they believe in. Several opinion polls conducted have reportedly shown that more than 70 percent of Filipinos support family planning and initiatives, such as the Responsible Parenthood and RH Law.
Initial members of the coalition includes DKT Philippines, the Family Planning Organization of the Philippines (FPOP), The Forum for Family Planning and Development, The Philippine Society for Responsible Parenthood, LoveYourself, RTI International, SheDecides Philippines, and all four professional associations for the country’s midwives. The coalition has set up a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DoItRightPH/) to serve as the focal point for the evolving campaign, as well as the hashtag #DoItRight.
Filipinos are called to proudly speak up and share their beliefs in the open, particularly on social media like Facebook,” said co-organizer Benjamin de Leon, President of The Forum for Family Planning and Development. “By showing each other how many feel the same, in a positive, celebratory spirit, Filipinos can together free themselves of old inhibitions.”
With the “DO IT RIGHT!” slogan and a distinctive hand sign the campaign will be rolled out to include a social-media blitz, festival events, as well as advertising in traditional media like billboards, print and radio. It encourages couples and individuals to flash the Do It Right! hand sign in selfie posts or in public: Two fingers held up together — representing the members of a couple – with a thumb in-between representing the contraceptive or safe-sex measures that strengthen their bond.
During the press conference held in Makati City, they called on more like-minded organizations and individuals to throw their weight behind the campaign. “This is wide open. We invite anyone who feels this topic is important — companies, famous Filipinos, anyone — to come on board,” said Hyam Asher Bolande, Chairman of the Board of DKT Philippines. Following the example of the #MeToo anti-sexual harassment movement that grew in North America as more and more women spoke up, the Do It Right! campaign is designed to gather strength over time, he added.
Economists and public-health experts have long lamented the need for improved RH education and access to modern contraception in the Philippines, especially for the country’s poorest. Religious-based organizations have protested the RH Law in recent years, but the law prevailed against court challenges and is fully in force today.
At the press conference, Commission on Population and Development (POPCOM) Undersecretary Juan Antonio Perez III hailed the launch of the ‘DO IT RIGHT!’ campaign, which he said comes at a crucial time when the government is also increasing its efforts to fully implement the law.
Nandy Senoc, FPOP Executive Director said, “It’s high time for society to finally put aside fears and embarrassment about this topic and declare openly – as the majority of Filipinos, together – that RH is OK, that it’s responsible.”
“When youth and women are empowered, there will be no teen pregnancies, no early marriages, no unwanted pregnancies or abortions. When women are well informed, the fight against poverty is already halfway won,” he added. I can’t help but agree.