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Message from the President (2019)

Richard B. Hayag


(2019 Year End GM and Partners Meeting)

It fills me the pride to see the efforts of the GM family and the support of our partners and friends in the advocacy in dealing with the health and social issues faced by Bicolano families. Together, unwavering and united, GM Bicol for Sexual and Reproductive Health was hailed as one of the recipients of the 10th Salud Bikolnon Awards on HIV Advocacy.

This award represents the GM Bicol spirit which is to advance sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) in service to the Bicolandia community. Likewise, this award represents the hard work of its members and volunteers, offering their invaluable time and effort to create safe spaces for people to learn about SOGIE, STIs, HIV/AIDS, and their right to sexual and reproductive health information and services.

GM's real strength is its members and volunteers. The Salud Bikolnon recognition given to GM Bicol is well deserved. This marks our members' dedication to the advocacy and to the purpose of our organization. I want to extend the honor and gratitude to our family members who in their capacity would support all of us (the members) as we share our precious time as volunteers to help and serve the Bicolano Community.

Personally, I want to express my gratitude to our Board of Trustees, Board of Advisors and Committee Officers. Your support and guidance enabled me to meet your expectations as President of GM Bicol. My success as President is also your success.

To the people who we came across during this 2019 journey, I trust that our short encounter has made an impact on your lives. I also trust that 'knowing your status' and 'prevention starts with me' will be part of your personal mantra in protecting yourself and your loved ones from getting HIV.

On behalf of the GM Family, I would like to thank our partners: regional government agencies, provincial and municipal LGUs, local and national CSOs and NGOs, thank you for your trust and support.

To the people living with HIV, your fight is also our fight. GM Bicol reaffirms its commitment to continue its advocacy in advancing SRHR to break the stigma and correct the misconceptions. Together as a community of advocates, regardless of gender, color, culture, and status, we are the strongest if we work together - 'sarong kumpas' (one beat), 'sarong tono' (one tune/sound), towards a safe, friendly, and healthy Bicolandia!

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