Secretary_Cabral_article.jpgPerformance artist and renowned celebrity tour guide Carlos Celdran has begun a petition addressed to President-elect Noynoy Aquino which asks that Secretary Esperanza Cabral be retained as the head of the Department of Health (DOH). Celdran is working with DOH and RockEd to raise awareness for HIV/AIDS. Aware that cabinet executives and department agendas change with each administration, Celdran’s petition states that “continuity is necessary, especially when it comes to [Cabral’s] progressive stance towards HIV/AIDS prevention/awareness and reproductive health.” If you would like to sign the petition, click here.

While Secretary Cabral believes that “the matter of who gets appointed by the new president to the cabinet is his absolute prerogative,” she tells FN, “I am heartened by the unsolicited show of support and through [FN] would like to express my sincere thanks to all.”

If you will recall, Secretary Cabral came under fire last Valentines Day for distributing condoms to the public —several Catholic bishops even called for her resignation, saying that “condoms don’t prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS.” Secretary Cabral responded on ANC’s Dateline Philippines by saying, “I think [distributing contraceptives] is the right thing to do in order to promote the health of the people and that is a mandate the DOH has. We are just doing what we are supposed to do.”

A recent Social Weather Station (SWS) study has shown that seven out of ten Filipinos support the distribution of condoms in the nation to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases—the results of FN’s own poll on the matter are in favor of distribution as well.
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