Press Release
March 8, 2011

Privilege Speech* of Senator Pia S. Cayetano
Chairperson, Senate Committees on Health and Demography
and on Youth, Women and Family Relations

Senate Plenary
March 8, 2011 (International Women's Day)

"A baby is a blessing. No one can dispute that. But every baby deserves a decent life.

"To begin with, every baby deserves a mother. In the Philippines, 11 mothers die from childbirth every single day. That means hundreds of infants and all their older siblings will grow up without knowing what it is like to have a mother. They will never see their mother's smile. They will never be held in her arms, nor enveloped in her love.

"I can cite many more figures, I can read my 10-page speech but in this case, I believe less words will make a bigger impact.

"Let me just take two minutes of your time to open your eyes to the plight of women and children. My office hosted a film showing this afternoon here in the Senate along with the Mu Sigma Phi fraternity which shared with us the entries to the 2nd Quisumbing Escandor Film Festival. With us in the gallery are some of the people that made our film showing possible."

(Sen. Cayetano proceeded to acknowledge her guests in the gallery including: Dr. Danilo Alpapara of the Mu Sigma Phi Fraternity, which co-sponsored the film showing; Donnie Sacueza, director of 'Ang Ina,' one of the documentaries shown earlier at the Tanada Room; Edgar Baltazar, director of, 'Tinalikdan'; Aiza Jane Idanan, director of 'Limang Libo'; and Dr. Anthony Cordero, director of the UP-Manila Center for Gender and Women Studies. After which, a two-minute documentary on the state of maternal and child health was screened in plenary.)

* Note: To mark March 8 as International Women's Day, Sen. Pia Cayetano was originally scheduled to deliver a 10-page privilege speech on the status of the commitments of the Philippines under the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The speech was to focus on MDGs 4 (Reducing Child Mortality) and 5 (Improve Maternal Health), where the country has been performing poorly. She was, however, asked by the Majority Leader to give way to interpellations on the proposed GOCC Governance Act of 2011(SBN 2640). She delivered this brief, impromptu speech instead.

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