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With flowers come condoms, too

February 13, 2010 12:38pm
In time for Valentine’s Day, the Department of Health (DOH) is giving away condoms Saturday to adult customers at the Dangwa Flower Market in Manila as part of its “Ingat Lagi, My Valentine" campaign.


View Dangwa Flower Market in a larger map

“It’s Valentine’s Day, so more of them will be symbolically showing their love by giving flowers, so minabuti na rin naming magbigay na ng impormasyon tungkol sa HIV/AIDS (We thought to also give them information about HIV/AIDS)," said DOH’s Dr. Eric Tayag on Saturday.

“We have observed an increase in HIV/AIDS, especially among the youth in Metro Manila. We want to make sure that options are open to them," explained Tayag.

At the end of 2008, the DOH recorded 528 HIV cases in the country, 110 of which are from young people aged 15-24.

Until supplies last

Upon buying, customers at the Dangwa market will be given “Get your free gift" coupons, which they can redeem at the health department’s booths set up in the area.

“They can get as many as they want. If they want five, we give them five… until supplies last," Tayag said.

The condoms were provided for free by companies DKT and Durex.

According to Tayag, information materials on HIV/AIDS will be distributed along with the condoms, but clarified that only adults can avail of them. Teenagers who redeem the coupons will be given lollipops along with the information materials.

“What we are targeting is HIV/AIDS awareness, not family planning. Our primary aim here is counseling," clarified Tayag, adding that HIV/AIDS counselors are also manning the booths for personal counseling.

The DOH’s booths will be at the Dangwa market until 8 pm today.

Rising flower prices

Meanwhile, prices of fresh blooms escalated on Saturday morning, with a dozen roses now priced at P250 to P350. An arranged bouquet, on the other hand, is priced at P700 to P1,000, radio dzBB reported.

Malaysian mums' prices tripled to P350 per bouquet, while hyacinth is available for P250.

The rise in flower prices are expected to continue even until Monday. - TJD, GMANews.TV
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