Ladlad calls for the
resignation of the DOH head
By LADLAD Partylist
PASIG CITY –
Department of Health Sec. Enrique Ona is on the hot seat as the only
political party for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT)
Filipinos, Ladlad Partylist, calls on the DOH head to resign for his
In the recently
concluded Philippine National AIDS Council plenary meeting, the DOH
head unwittingly suggested that in order to address the rapid rise of
HIV cases in the country, “parents should rein in their homosexual
children and get them tested.”
The Ladlad group was
left aghast by the DOH head’s discriminatory statements. “Sec. Ona
should be prudent with his remarks. I am personally asking him to act
befitting his stature as a medical doctor and head of the DOH.” said
Ms. Bemz Benedito, Ladlad chairperson. “He should resign from his
post, because bigotry and insensitivity has no place in public service
specifically for high-ranking officials,” Benedito added.
The DOH Secretary
elaborated further on how to solve the HIV crisis: “I was just given
the information that, for example, the Partylist Ladlad has 67,000
members. Let’s just assume that there are 100,000 of them and get the
ages, from say, 20-35 and ask all of them to have HIV/AIDS test.
Wouldn’t that be a practical solution too?”
“Now, I presume that
Sec. Ona is becoming senile and can no longer confront what is right
and what is wrong,” Benedito said. “I would like to remind the good
secretary that his proposal is a violation of our human rights as to
our right to privacy and of choice,” the Ladlad chairperson added. “We
should all be very compassionate in dealing HIV cases, no matter how
alarming it is,” Benedito stressed.
Ladlad said, the
Health Secretary’s comment was not at all helpful in a time of crisis.
In a recent survey, the Philippines is one of the seven countries
worldwide that is experiencing an acceleration in the spread of the
HIV epidemic. The latest HIV and AIDS Registry (September 2011)
recorded 8 new HIV infections a day – a steep increase from the one
case a day that was reported four years ago.
Moreover, there is
another major setback as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis
and Malaria cancelled Phases 1 and 2 of its Round 11 funding for
2013-2017 – a $2-billion dollar worth of funding which would have
saved a lot of lives here in the Philippines.
Ladlad is also calling
on the government to find a way to resolve the problem quickly because
People Living with HIV (PLHIV) are dependent on free medicines given
through the Global Fund.
Part of the Platforms
of government of Ladlad is to set up testing centers for HIV/AIDS in
major cities in the country. The group has now more than 50,000
members all over the Philippines and will run as partylist in 2013