Philippine Condom Giveaway Hailed

Image courtesy of flickr user spaztacular / CC BY 2.0

Today, the Philippine Commission on the Status of Women hailed the Department of Health’s recent condom giveaway program, responding to intense disapproval of the program from Malacañang Palace and the powerful Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.

The controversial program, Ingat Lagi, My Valentine (“Take care always, my Valentine”), distributed free condoms at flower booths in Metro Manila on Valentine’s Day in order to address increasing incidences of HIV among young adults.

The move defied the Catholic Church’s stance on contraception, as well as governmental policy mandating the promotion of natural methods of birth control. Following the event, the Catholic Bishops Conference demanded the resignation of Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral, the woman behind the campaign. Cabral continues to stand her ground.

Read up-to-date coverage on birth control and contraception from Ms. here


Catherine is an assistant features editor at Hyphen magazine and a first year student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. She interned at Ms. in the spring of 2010, and has since reported on the gendered impact of immigration enforcement in Arizona, the rights of health care workers in the Philippines and indigenous women's struggle against Big Oil in Canada. She has a B.A. in English and a minor in Women & Gender Studies from Arizona State University.