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Prevent and reduce lead hazards in school makeovers

Education Secretary Armin Luistro is right in inviting donors to consider total makeovers of target public schools (“Do school makeovers, Luistro asks donors,” News, 3/24/14). To be sure, many of our public schools require complete makeovers to make them conducive to learning. But renovations, especially those involving repainting jobs, must be done safely to ensure the health and safety of our children and the workers themselves.

Posted: April 10th, 2014 in Inquirer Opinion,Letters to the Editor | Read More »

The problem with sex education

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Some 10 years ago, I joined a group of high school students to do a “work camp” in Gasan, a small town in the western coast of Marinduque. The young boys repainted the physical structure of the public school and did some repairs. While looking at the work they were doing, I happened to go inside a classroom that was used by third-year high school students. There were piles of books the students would use for their studies, and I browsed through one they used for the subject “Health and Home Economics.” The author of the book devoted a chapter to pregnancy. I don’t recall the name of the author who I think was a woman. She gave wise advice to the young: Getting pregnant is best reserved for marriage, marriage must be prepared for, courtship done at the right time in one’s life, dating and choosing one’s spouse require mature judgment and so forth.

Posted: March 7th, 2014 in Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Stress during pregnancy is harmful to offspring

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About seven years ago, a Manila-based couple visited Maine in the United States. They were both physicians-she an anesthesiologist, and he a surgeon. They were there to take a test to become nurses! I asked them why they wanted to migrate to the United States. They said they have a son with autism. At that [...]

Posted: February 5th, 2014 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Forced to stay pregnant

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Her name is Marlise Munoz, and she is 33, the mother of a year-old boy and pregnant with her second child.   She is also lying in her bed at the ICU of John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, in the United States, declared “brain dead” by her doctors.   But Marlise and [...]

Posted: January 10th, 2014 in Columns,Editor's Pick,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Yolanda’s babies

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By now, 12 days after Supertyphoon “Yolanda” hit our shores, stories of babies being born amid devastation, in ruined huts, among the rubble of what had once been health centers and hospitals, and even in the Tacloban airstrip as the mother waited in line for a flight out of the city, have become commonplace.

Posted: November 19th, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

End to childhood

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“An abrupt end to childhood” is how the United Nations Population Fund describes adolescent pregnancy, which is the focus of its just-launched “State of the World’s Population” Report.

Posted: October 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Options and choice

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Even as the Reproductive Health Law remains stuck in the labyrinth of the Supreme Court, falling in line behind a string of other lawsuits, with the issue of its “constitutionality” still hanging in the air, elsewhere reproductive health technology marches on.

Posted: October 3rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Fact versus dogma

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Those who question the constitutionality of the Reproductive Health Law claim to argue on behalf of poor Filipino women. However, there is a stark contrast between the lives of well-off people and the actual realities that poor Filipino women face. It is perhaps unimaginable for those who oppose the law that there are many poor [...]

Posted: July 31st, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Life, death and contraception

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Some time back, a 25-year-old woman in Cologne, Germany, was drugged at a party and woke up on a park bench. Fearing that she had been raped and could get pregnant because of it, the woman consulted a doctor who sent her to two Catholic-run hospitals for a gynecological exam.

Posted: February 23rd, 2013 in Columnists,Columns,Editor's Pick,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Do mothers matter?

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Perhaps the most underrated piece of news lately has been the rise in the number of maternal deaths—due to pregnancy- and childbirth-related causes—from an estimated 11 to 12 women dying EVERY DAY.

Posted: June 25th, 2012 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

Births and parenthood

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“Come and say hello to your grandson,” my daughter Jika beckoned to me the other day. She was caressing her distended belly now fully occupied by the six-month-old fetus growing snugly inside her. My wife put her hand on the spot where it moved beneath the skin, and asked me to feel it. “Xavier, this is your Lolo,” Jika said, as I rested the palm of my hand on what could be the unborn child’s head or elbow.

Posted: December 24th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Featured Columns,Featured Headline,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

One woman, 15 pregnancies, 12 children

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She is 42 years old, has had 15 pregnancies, two of them miscarriages and one induced abortion. She has 12 children who are alive, the eldest of them aged 26 and the youngest about four or five. She has three grandchildren, two of them single mothers. I met Yoling (not her real name) last week. [...]

Posted: October 13th, 2011 in Columnists,Columns,Inquirer Opinion | Read More »

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