A 22-year old reproductive health advocate from San Vicente town is a contender in the worldwide search “120 Under 40: The New of Family Planning Leaders”.

The voting for the award concludes Monday next week.

Mark Anthony Tabangay, Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) federation president of San Vicente town qualified as a nominee for the worldwide search for the next generation of leaders making a difference in reproductive health.

Tabangay said that he is advocating for youth empowerment, teenage pregnancy prevention, and HIV/AIDS and STD awareness.

“Mataas ang teenage pregnancy, HIV at STI natin dito kaya we want to expand our IEC (Information Education Campaign) para maraming kabataan ang mahimok na magpatest. We believe pa rin na early detection is better kaysa positive kana o pinagdadaanan mo na bago ka palang gagawa ng paraan,” Tabangay pointed out.

Tabagay earned his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree at Palawan State University San Vicente Campus in 2016.

The 120 Under 40: The New Generation of Family Planning Leaders is an organization that recognizes and highlights the achievements of the next generation of family planning leaders worldwide.

The project launched on September 26, 2015 during the annual event—World Contraception Day—focuses on enabling young people to make informed decisions about family planning and reproductive health.

According to the organization’s website, the nomination is held yearly provided that nominees must be 40 years or younger by December 31 of the project year, and must have made significant contributions to family planning at the local, national, or international level in one of the following categories: advocacy, program implementation, research, service delivery, demand generation, policy, government or media.

The 40 winners for 2019 will be chosen through online public voting and scoring by a jury of experts and leaders in family planning.

Online public voting already started from June 18 to July 1, 2019. Voters will be able to cast one vote per nominee during this period. Voters can vote for as many nominees as they like, but only once per nominee.

Nominees must receive at least 75 votes in order to make the cut to the jury-scoring round.

The 120 under 40 said that work of the winning candidate is supported such as scholarships to attend the International Conference on Family Planning and the opportunity to apply for additional funding for their work.

Tabangay said that 40 winner who will be identified by the jury and project secretariat will receive P51,230 ($1,000) from the Gates Institute and a chance to start innovative projects, involve in high-level networking, programmatic and research opportunities and tools to strengthen their skills, especially in storytelling, personal brand development, advocacy and leadership.

The winners will be announced on September 10, 2019.

Tabangay is asking for a support by voting for him in: https://www.120under40.org/nominee/mark-anthony-tabangay.

“Sana matulungan tayo para mas lalo natin mapalawak ang reproductive health information and education campaign sa mga kabataan,” he said.

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is the chief of correspondents of Palawan News. She covers defense, politics, tourism, health, and sports stories. She loves to travel and explore different foods.