LPG party-list group takes up HIV/AIDS cause
MANILA, Philippines—What does a party-list group that represents cooking gas retailers have to do with the campaign against HIV/AIDS?
“It’s personal,” admitted Rep. Arnel Ty of the LPG Marketer’s Association (LPGMA) on Saturday, acknowledging that his group has come under fire for taking on a supposedly unrelated advocacy.
Ty, whose group again won a seat in the 16th Congress, said the issue had been raised against the LPGMA during the campaign for the May 13 elections.
On its official website, the LPGMA said its “principal advocacy is (the) protection of the right of the ordinary consumer to have access to reasonably priced LPG and to exercise their freedom to choose to buy any brand of liquefied petroleum gas or LPG that is available in the market.”
Despite the criticism, the group continued to tackle the HIV issue. Just Saturday, it issued a press release announcing that there were 388 new cases recorded by the National Epidemiology Center.
“I have a friend who is infected,” Ty told the Inquirer in a phone interview, by way of explaining his group’s campaign against the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that causes AIDS (acquired immune deficiency syndrome) for which there is still no cure.
In the press release, Ty described himself as a “proponent of a House-approved bill seeking to mandate highly potent new strategies to suppress the HIV epidemic.”
He was referring to the measure seeking to update the “outdated 1998 AIDS Prevention and Control Law.” The bill also mandates the “multisectoral Philippine National AIDS Council to draw up a bold new six-year program with specific targets to reverse the average 45-percent annual increase in new HIV cases since 2010.”
The bill most related to the LPGMA’s principal advocacy is one seeking to put up a “regulatory framework for (the) conduct of business and the safe operation” of the LPG industry.
Ty has also authored a bill creating “loading/unloading areas within the premises of shopping malls, hotels and similar establishments.”
One resolution he has filed seeks a congressional inquiry into “jueteng,” the illegal numbers game, while another asks the House committee on youth and sports development to look into the “poor performance” of the national cycling team in the Asian Games. Christian V. Esguerra
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